Tuesday, November 28, 2006
[Ta Kung Pao 29/11/06]
Lydia Shum Thanks a Full House of Friends for their Love
Happy Fruit Lydia Shum held a special party to show her gratitude to all her friends, medical staff and press for the care and support that they have shown her during her illness. The event was organised by Lydia's good friend Chan Shuk Fan and only specially selected members of the press were invited, not including those publications who had reported falsely beforehand. Security was tight as ID's were checked at entry to avoid any chaos, but those who had not been invited were still waiting outside and when Lydia arrived, they caused a ruckus on the road.
After three weeks of rest and recouperation after her discharge from hospital, Lydia was joined by her daughter Joyce, her sisters, her consultant Dr Lo and thirty-five of her best friends, including Eric Tsang, Jacky Cheung, Deborah, Lee Heung Kam, Tang Kwong Wing and TVB executives Stephen Chan and Virginia Lok. Although Lydia was still a bit shaky as she came down the steps, she still dressed for the occasion in three inch pink heels to match her pink suit. Lydia was in high spirits and looked well as her trademark laughter could be heard often.
The MC for the event was Derek Li and he indicated that this private party was for Lydia to thank everyone for their support and care. She hopes that the media present will report truthfully and with integrity and respect her wishes not share this information with any other media organisations not present. When Lydia's friends were seated, then then Lydia took centre stage and she started by thanking everyone for attending. She says that if you have one good friend in life it is already a great thing, so for her to have so many good friends, then she is truly honoured. She thanked the professors at the Queen Mary Hospital because without them, she would not have escaped from the gates of death; also the media who have guarded outside the hospital night and day; her friend Chan Shuk Fan who flew out to Thailand especially to pray for her to get better after finding out about her condition and pledging to eat no meat for a year; the PR staff at the hospital for the arrangements allowing her to avoid the press; Tang Kwong Wing and his wife for recommending her to such a wonderful medical team and for Mrs Tang who took her into hospital on the day her illness struck; the TVB executives who presented her with a DVD with clips of many messages from well wishers; Eric and Jacky for standing up for her after the Indonesian maid incident and bringing her to justice.
Lydia says: "Thank you to TVB for giving me so many opportunities to do charitable work over the years. To have passed through such a difficult time, I feel it is to do with my charity , so everyone should do more charity work." She also thanks Deborah for her Curry Fish Head Pot, which made her realise her illness after eating it; Teacher Hui Pui for crying with worry every day and for coming to visit her even when she had poor knees; Lee Heung Kam for praying every day and bowing to the gods; Woo Fung and Yu Chi Ming who were so emotional at the hospital that they were laughing and crying and making her realise the value of friendship. Lydia also says that her daughter does not like studying and only loves singing, so she is grateful for Master Liu Chia Chiang for accepting her as his student, so she urges Joyce to cherish this opportunity. She says that Yan Chan welcomed Joyce to stay at her home if anything happened. Willie Chan had also called her to pass on best wishes from Jackie Chan. Lydia is thankful to her sisters who have been by her side during her time in hospital and says: "Also, my mother and daughter - one is 19 years old the other is 95 years old. Without them I would not have had such a great will to continue living. I do not want my mother to be unhappy and I do not want my daughter to be without me."
There were no questions from the press at the event yesterday, but Derek spoke on their behalf as he asked Lydia about the various reports of late. He started by asking her how her health was. Lydia said: "Full of vitality, but I have lost 20 lbs. The tumour weighed 6 lbs though." She smiles as she pats her chest: "This has gone down too! Haha!" As for reports that the reason she missed the TVB anniversary was because she was to ill to get out of bed, she said: "There was no such thing, don't be so unlucky! It is because I have a lot of scars after my operation and I have a Mercedes Benz logo on my abdomen, so I cannot wear a bra or dress up. To avoid affecting everyone, I decided to just join everyone with my voice." As for the reports that she is selling her apartment to split her wealth with Cheung Yiu Wing, she laughs out loud and says: "I have a complex relationship with Boss Cheung and we have a lot of ties, but I am not his mistress, but I am the godmother of his grandchild and we have known each other for many years. He is a good man and will not con you and if there was anything between us, then he would not be here today." Asked about rumours that she had to sell up properties in Hong Kong and Canada to pay for her rocketing hospital bills, Lydia asks Derek whether he believes this before saying: "The house in Canada was bought because Joyce was studying there and only my mother and two maids live there. As my sister is unable to drive to take care of my mother, she decided to take my mother to live at her home and this left the house empty. Thus I decided to sell up, but it has been dragged out until now." As for handing her daughter over to Master Liu, Lydia asked Master Liu to reply to this and he laughed: "Talking of age, it is me who needs to hand over my children."
Lydia also praises Adam Cheng for being formidable because he has been to visit her so many times whilst she was in hospital. She says: "Although we are no longer husband and wife, we can still be friends and if he didn't have an element of gallantry, he could not do this." Asked why Adam was not present at the party, Lydia explained that he had just returned from a stage performance with Liza in Canada and America and has had to fly immediately to Shanghai to film an ad, so he was unable to attend. Lydia goes on to talk about how Joyce is like a protected flower and growing up in a single parent environment, she has had everything laid out for her, but this experience has been an opportunity for her to learn and mature, so she hopes that Joyce will be as good as she has been forever. Although she was undergoing some hardship with her illness, it has brought her relationship with her daughter so much closer and this has taught Joyce to cherish her parents even more. At this point, Derek asked Joyce to go on the stage to give her mother a kiss. Asked if she will be going back to Canada to rest in December, Lydia confirms this and says that she has not seen her mother since she was admitted to hospital on 15th September and her mother has a sixth sense with her and has worn a frown ever since. As it is her mother's 95th birthday on 30th December, then Lydia will be joining her for Christmas and the New Year.
Lydia then invited Dr Lo to explain her condition. The doctor insisted there was no need to do this, but Lydia explained that there is no privacy in the life of a celebrity, so the doctor complied admirably: "Lydia was suffering from a tumour in her liver and underwent surgery to remove three sections of the right part of her liver. Although the procedure was complicated, it went smoothly, but there were some complications where the kidney failed slightly and there was a blockage in an intestine. This has all been resolved now and there was no need for chemotherapy or radiotherapy after the tumour was removed. We still have to observe her carefully though." Lydia added that she is very afraid of death, so four days before leaving hospital, she was still asking the doctor to do more MRI scans and biopsies as she prayed for good resuls. In the end, when she saw the doctor's face beaming, then she realised the value of life and kissed the doctor's hands several time.
Asked if Lydia was in grave danger at one point, Dr Lo indicated that all surgery is dangerous, otherwise she would not have been admitted into intensive care, but during this time, Lydia was very strong and she had total confidence in the doctors. She also had a lot of determination from her family's support, so when she awoke, she was able to show her trademark laughter again.
At the end of the questions, Lydia and Joyce presented the hospital staff with a plaque to show her gratitude and Joyce presented flowers to Dr Lo and the hotel boss of the Hyatt Hotel chain Mr Chu Man Hong. Lydia was then presented with a cake and wished with good health by her friends before bringing the event to a close as Lydia and her friends retired to a private room for a tea party.
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