“Let’s eat ramen at Han River after you get discharge from the hospital,” The promise of a 16-year-old victim from Itaewon

“I came here hoping and hoping that it was just a joke of Elementary Student (the deceased’s nickname) as usual.”

On the morning of Nov 1st, Moon (15), a friend of Han (16), a victim of the Itaewon disaster, constantly shed tears watching the last video she took with Han at Ewha Womans University Mok-dong Hospital in Yangcheon-gu, Seoul. In the video, three people, Han, Moon, and another friend, were laughing and dancing to the exciting music at the hospital.

itaewon stampede victim

“There are only a few deaths that are teenagers, how can one of them be our Han? I can’t believe it.” Ms. Han, a first-year student at a high school in Seoul, is one of 12 teenage victims (as of 11 a.m. on Oct 1st) of the Itaewon disaster, and is the only teenager among the seven victims laid in state at Ewha Womans University Mokdong Hospital.

Moon and Han first met in June at Sinchon Severance Hospital in Seoul. The rare disease “Complex Regional Pain Syndrome” (CRPS), which suddenly came to Moon last year, was difficult for Moon to endure even if she took medicine. She often thought she didn’t want to live in severe pain, and she often hurt herself.

itaewon stampede victim

It was Han, who was hospitalized due to poor health, who comforted and supported Moon while staying as her “ward mate” for a month. Moon is one year younger than Han, but she called Han an “elementary student.” It’s because Han was playful and bright and energetic. The two spent a month as close friends, calling each other by name instead of sisters. When Moon was going through difficult days, Han gave bright energy to the tired Moon by asking her to take a “Reel” (a short one-minute video on Instagram) or walking in the hallway together.

Moon remembered Han as a “friendly person”. Once, when Moon was unable to eat anything for about 20 days due to the pain, Han bought cream bread full of cream, put only the cream on and handed it to Moon. She also bought three “cream cheese sticks” that she usually liked and hand them to Moon.

itaewon stampede thumbnail

When the pain worsened and bad thoughts constantly occurred to Moon, the two walked together in the hallway of the hospital. They now cannot keep their promise then to “eat ramen at the Han River” anymore. Ms. Moon’s mother, Park (51), recalled Han as someone she was grateful for, saying, “She took care of my daughter so well that she even let my daughter ate the cream while she ate the creamless bread.”

Han’s dream was to be a makeup artist. Han, who had a makeup license, sometimes put makeup on Moon or put up Moon’s hair beautifully every day. Her nail art skills were excellent enough to sometimes work part-time. After paying his respects at the mortuary, the vice principal of the high school where Han was attending said, “She was a student with a clear dream and a lot of talent,” adding, “All students are mourning by setting up a memorial space for her at the school.”

Itaewon stampede

“I originally only thought about dying. But I changed my mind when I saw the last words that Han left for me. I have to live up to her wishes until the end. I want to become a psychiatrist and treat people who are heartbroken like me.” On September 18th, when asked by Moon, “What do you do when you just want to give up everything?” Han replied, “You shouldn’t give up.”

Park (20), an older sister who was like a friend at the hospital with Han, said in a phone call with the media, “I regret how I coldly said that I couldn’t accept Han’s phone call of reconciliation on the day of the accident. At the time of the Itaewon accident, I watched people pouring out and doing CPR from the second floor of the next building, and I felt guilty after knowing that one of my friends was in there, so I couldn’t bear to go to the funeral to send her away on her final journey,” she said. “She was a bright friend who always smiled even if it was hard, but now I hope she will walk a happy path.”

itaewon stampede

On this day, Han’s family also missed their granddaughter who left this world in such a hurry. Han (68), the victim’s biological grandfather who visited the mortuary, also shed tears, saying, “She is our only eldest granddaughter.” Although she did not live with her grandfather due to her long-term foreign life in the United States and Japan, she was a good granddaughter who visited her grandfather’s house every holiday to say hello. Han said, “I couldn’t sleep at all because my heart was shaking when I heard the news (that my granddaughter died),” adding, “My granddaughter seems to have passed away faster because she is small and fragile. What should I do with her remaining younger brothers when they are lonely?” he wiped away his tears.

Source: daum

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