A New Yorker is clinging to life after a suspected subway robbery went wrong on July 17.
Than Htwe spent the weekend having brain surgery after a man allegedly grabbed her son’s bookbag about 9:40 a.m., outside the N station at Broadway and Canal Street.
The son, Kyaw Zaw Hein, lost balance and reached for Htwe, causing them both to tumble down the stairs. The 58-year-old mother’s head struck the ground, leaving her unconscious and bloodied according to the New York Post.
The heartbroken Brooklyn family is concerned Htwe will never regain consciousness from the botched robbery.
“Doctors told us that the trauma to her head was so severe that she will not be able to wake up,” the family said on the GoFundMe website. “Eventually all her organs will shut down. We are now just waiting and worrying about what happens next.”
New York Police Department (NYPD) has released surveillance footage of the African American suspect, who can be seen wearing a light green t-shirt, black pants, what appears to be a bandit scarf.
“On July 17 at 9:40 a.m. inside the Canal Street ‘N’ subway station in Manhattan, the suspect tried to forcibly remove a bag, causing two victims to fall down the stairs, leaving one victim in critical condition,” NYPD said on Twitter.
🚨WANTED for ATTEMPTED ROBBERY: On 7/17 at 9:40 AM, inside the Canal St “N” subway station in Manhattan, the suspect tried to forcibly remove a bag, causing two victims to fall down the stairs, leaving one victim in critical condition. Any info? DM @NYPDTips or call 800-577-TIPS. pic.twitter.com/hRiM0brDZa— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) July 18, 2021
New York Assemblywoman Yuh-Line Niou (D) announced Htwe is dead. However, the family rejected this as fake news and shared a photo of the woman still lying in her hospital bed with a tracheostomy tube inserted.
“There are reports on the news saying she has passed away,” the family said on the GoFundMe website. “This is not true, she is still unconscious in the hospital, [and] we send our prayers for her.”
The Taiwanese-American Democrat was later compelled to apologize for jumping to conclusions.
“I have to apologize,” Niou said on Twitter. “I had heard from my contact who is close with the family that she had passed (in Chinese I misinterpreted) but she has not. The family is facing a very tough decision and time right now.”
I have to apologize. I had heard from my contact who is close with the family that she had passed (in Chinese I misinterpreted) but she has not. The family is facing a very tough decision and time right now. https://t.co/XINw2Gq915— Yuh-Line Niou (@yuhline) July 20, 2021
The family describes Htwe as a “kindhearted and respectful” woman who moved from Burma to America with her husband, to provide their only child with a better life.
“All of us are heartbroken and shocked by how the events have turned out,” the family said on the GoFundMe website.
Hein added, “I just want to tell everyone who is reading this, to always cherish the moments you have with your mother [and] tell her, ‘I love you’ or give her a hug and kiss because you never know what will happen.”
A fundraising campaign has well surpassed its original $10,000 goal, attracting more than $40,400 at the time of publication.
“We ask that you help us in this time of need,” the family said. “For a family who have nothing, who moved across the world from Burma to try and make a better life.”