Yong Yang is back to work part time. On Monday he was smiling and greeting customers and well-wishers as he worked in the produce market he opened 14 years ago in Berwyn.
'Mr. Yang' (as everyone calls him) is back at his store but he is still currently without sight in his left eye and he faces two more major eye surgeries and his store manager says doctors may not know for a year whether he will ever regain vision in his left eye.
Yang was injured during a brutal attack and robbery as he got into his van outside after closing up shop for the night in January. 18-year-old Octavio Sandoval and a 17-year-old juvenile are facing numerous charges in the case. According to police and court records, the two teens jumped Yang as he got into his van, held him down, and one of the attackers punched Yang in the face, breaking his eye glasses and leaving him unable to see with his left eye.
Yang underwent six hours of major eye surgery to stabilize and save his left eye. His eye and face appear back to normal as he smiles and greets people at his shop, but two more major eye surgeries lie ahead. According to Yangs manager Mark Morroney, who is also Yang's former son-in-law, Yang will need more surgery to replace the lens of his left eye and to restore muscles in the eye that were injured in the attack.
Yang has Medicare but it does not cover many of the expenses associated with his recovery. Hundreds of local business owners, customers, friends and strangers have already donated more than $20,000 to help pay for his expenses in a spontaneous movement started by local small business women. Moroney says Mr. Yang and his family have been overwhelmed and deeply moved by the generosity of the community.
A fundraising dinner is planned for next Wednesday, March 7th to help raise funds for what is going to be an ongoing recovery process. The dinner will be from 5-9 p.m. at that is located next door to Yangs Market on Lancaster Ave. in Berwyn. Click here for more information and a link to make reservations.