Houston Chronicle by Tony Freemantle
Inhee Park's comfortable, middle-class life a world away in South Korea was shattered by gunfire at a Houston apartment complex early in the morning after the Independence Day celebrations of 2008.
His son Dominic, a student at the University of Houston, was returning home when two young men robbed him of his wallet and car keys, shot him in the throat and left him for dead in the parking lot.
Dominic survived, barely, but was left paralyzed from the chest down and unable to care for himself.
His parents rushed to his side. They sold their condominium in Seoul and their cars and dipped deeply into their savings to pay for Dominic's enormous medical bills. For nearly four years, they have crisscrossed the Pacific Ocean every six months to keep their tourist visas valid so they can provide the round-the-clock care their son requires.
But on Feb. 15, returning from a brief trip to Seoul to renew his visa, Inhee Park was stopped by a Customs and Border Protection agent at George Bush Intercontinental Airport, accused of working illegally in the U.S. and of trying to surreptitiously settle his family here.
He was deported back to Korea on the next flight and has not yet been able to obtain a new visa.
Inhee Park, a former executive in a Seoul printing company, was Dominic's heavy lifter. He wrestled his son's 6-foot, 200-pound body in and out of bed. He picked him up and settled him in his wheelchair, loaded him in the car to take him to his appointments with his doctors, helped him with the bodily functions a 28-year-old man should be able to perform on his own.