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Student News Site of Ruben S. Ayala High School

Bulldog Times

Bulldogs of Ayala: Aiden Choe

Aiden Choe (12) continues to work hard, even during difficult circumstances
Aiden Choe (12) developed pneumothorax during late September which caused him to go on medical leave for the rest of the first semester. While on independent study, Aiden Choe overcame many hardships, yet here he stands today as one of the best of us.
Ryan Wu
Aiden Choe (12) developed pneumothorax during late September which caused him to go on medical leave for the rest of the first semester. While on independent study, Aiden Choe overcame many hardships, yet here he stands today as one of the best of us.

At any inexplicable moment, random events can happen that may change the course of your life. It is in these moments that we should all wish to be even half as strong as Aiden Choe (12). Even after all the hardship he’s faced to get to this moment here he is, standing proud because he won. 

Like the CW’s Flash, Aiden’s adventure started with an accident, and also like the Flash, Aiden Choe was hospitalized. While zooming on his scooter from school to home, he fell and hit the ground hard. Now this may not sound that serious, but this event caused a major butterfly effect on how Aiden’s next three months would unfold.

After hitting the ground, Aiden developed pneumothorax which is a condition where air leaks out of one’s lungs into the chest cavity and applies pressure on the lungs. Like most things with constant pressure applied, Aiden’s lungs were damaged causing him to be hospitalized. 

Getting pneumothorax once is unlucky. Getting pneumothorax three times is less likely to occur than getting into two car crashes within 100 miles driven. To say that Aiden Choe faced a lot of misfortune was an understatement. On top of developing the condition three times, all of this was happening during college admission season. After developing the condition for a second time, Aiden and his parents decided it would be best for Aiden to be put on independent study. 

“I think what he’s dealing with has affected him. I think transitioning to a fully online platform after being in school for three years affected him,” school counselor Mr. Ryan Bell said. “One of the things that students don’t understand is that going from an in-person class with a personal relationship with a teacher to an online platform is a huge transition and dealing with his personal health situation is an even bigger issue.”

Aiden Choe and Jimin Kim (12) are close friends who sit next to each other in several classes. Here they are hanging out after finishing their classwork.

For any other person, this would be the hardest challenge to ever be faced. For Choe, it was Tuesday. He was doing college applications, schoolwork, and even an interview for Harvard while recovering in the hospital. 

“Once I woke up I said ‘I got to do homework,’ so I raised my bed upwards and asked my mom to bring me my homework. My painkillers hadn’t worn off so I was just doing [calculus] homework with a giant tube in my chest. The nurses walked in, laughed a little, and said I was very studious,” said Choe.

Even with a life-threatening condition, Choe never once stopped thinking about going back to school and seeing his friends. 

“The biggest challenge was that I was completely isolated. My social interactions were very limited. I genuinely got depressed after the second time because I had no one to talk to other than my parents,” Choe said.

Likewise, his friends missed him too. Senior student Jimin Kim, one of Aiden’s closest friends, missed him especially.

My social interactions were very limited. I genuinely got depressed after the second time because I had no one to talk to other than my parents.

— Aiden Choe (12)

“I missed him a lot because class was not as fun and I was always alone and I didn’t have anyone to talk to because he sat next to me in most of my classes. I felt melancholy and depressed even when I heard he was leaving for the rest of first semester. I thought about him every day when I didn’t see him in class and thought, ‘How am I going to make it through without one of my closest friends?’” Kim said.

As Choe triumphantly returns, let’s take a moment to celebrate not only his victory over adversity, but also the positive influence he brings to the lives of those around him. In the unexpected moments of life, Aiden Choe is an example of strength, resilience, and an unwavering spirit. Welcome back, Aiden.

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About the Contributor
Ryan Wu, Staff Member
Ryan Wu (12) is a first year writer for The Bulldog Times. He hopes to learn more about the community at Ayala as well as build connections with people. Ryan joined The Bulldog Times in hopes of developing interpersonal and public speaking skills. In addition to being a part of The Bulldog Times, Ryan leads a team in Vex Robotics, is a club officer for Ayala’s Hack club, and a lyric transcriber on Genius Lyrics. In his free time, you’ll find Ryan playing video games such as Minecraft’s Hypixel Skyblock, obsessively listening to bedroom pop from tiffi and ry, and coding competitively.
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