James Kim was father of Sabine and Penelope and husband to Kati. He was an analyst on the now defunct cable TV station TechTV and later a editor for CNet. When I first heard the story that his family was missing, I didn’t think much of it. I thought that there might have been some miscommunications.
When Kati and the two daughters were rescued, I realized that this was a big deal. There were more stories about how they got stuck in the snowstorm, they ran the heat in the car until the gas ran out, they burned the tires to stay warm, and Kati had to breastfeed the children. They survived for 9 days until Kati, Penelope and Sabine were rescued by a helicopter that was hired by the Kim family. By this time James had gone out looking for help.
After several days, James felt that they could not wait any longer for help. They had little food and water, and there no longer was anything to burn to stay warm. He had to do something or else his family would freeze and starve to death. He went out there with a few articles of clothing to use and trail markers so that if he did find some help or needed to go back, he could find the way. Because of his resourcefulness and strong will to save his family, he was able to survive 3 more days in the freezing wilderness.
I’m not sure why I was so sad when I read that he was found deceased. There are tragedies that happen everyday. Maybe it’s because he was on TV and he’s a celebrity in my mind. Maybe it’s because he’s also Korean. Maybe it’s because he has a beautiful family and a great job, and it’s a life that I’ve always wanted. All I know is that he was a loving husband and father and a courageous man.
You can also go to their family website and donate here.