Kupuna Caregiver: Trainer uses fitness expertise to strengthen his family

Kupuna Caregiver

Charles Trinh has always had a passion for fitness. As the owner of Function Works Fitness, he motivates his clients to push their limits.

But last year, he had to put everything on hold during a family reunion in Las Vegas.

“Four days into the reunion, my dad suffered a heart attack. He was in the casino, he was looking very sleepy and something wasn’t right,” said Trinh.

His father was rushed to the hospital where the family had to make a tough decision regarding open heart surgery. 

“They said you have to let him go or you go and take that risk. You have to take that chance. But because of his age, it didn’t look very good. But we had to take that chance whether it was successful or not,” said Trinh.

His father underwent a successful quintuple bypass surgery.

For Charles, that moment put everything into perspective.

“I felt like i didn’t have enough time. The time that I spent with my dad wasn’t good enough,” said Trinh.

After surgery, his father could barely walk. Plus, his kidneys failed. So Charles, with his sister’s help, stepped in to become the primary caregiver taking his father to dialysis three times a week.

He also set up a training program for his father and mother who suffers from osteoporosis.

“Single leg strength is very important for our kupuna. So a lot of times when we get older, what happens is we lose strength in our legs especially,” said Trinh.

“Yeah good fun! I just exercise, no eat the meat so much,” said Trinh’s mother laughing.

His father has lost over 50 pounds since his heart attack and both of his parents have increased their strength and balance.

“Good son, only one son yeah, he takes care of me,” said Trinh’s father.

“My dad is the kindest, hard working people that I’ve ever met and I’m blessed that he’s my father. My mom taught me to stand up for myself. She was my body guard and she taught me to be more assertive, she taught me to be kind and has a big heart. I’m very blessed to have both of them as my parents,” said Trinh.

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