HONG KONG, Nov 1 — Jasmine Tan, the wife of Hong Kong film star Chow Yun-Fat, has shared the heartbreak that she endured after their daughter was stillborn in 1992.
Tan granted Apple Daily a rare interview in which she lifted the lid on their life together.
In the first of a 15-part series that was released on Monday, Tan described how it took her seven years to get over the pain of her loss, adding “Till today, I still think about our daughter.”
The 57-year-old recounted the day in May 1992 “only one week from the expected date of birth” when she suspected something was amiss.
The baby was less active than usual and Tan recalled asking Chow: “Why is our daughter so well-behaved today? She isn’t kicking my belly.”
It would have been the first child for the couple who had been married for more than five years at that point.
The next day, Chow brought her to a clinic in Mong Kok. They were forced to wade through knee-high water because it had been raining heavily.
She said that she knew something was wrong when she saw the expression on the doctor’s face after he insisted that she be admitted to hospital.
Once there, a scan showed her baby had been strangled by the umbilical cord, but neither the doctor nor the nurses would break the news to her.
Tan recalled how the doctor called Chow into the room and said: “Would you rather talk to your wife yourself?”
The doctor advised her to remove the baby by caesarean, but Tan refused and insisted on delivering the stillborn baby, because she wanted to “go through the process, I’ve carried her for so long.”
Initially, Chow had asked the nurse to take the baby from the room because he wanted to protect his wife emotionally.
But Tan said she insisted on seeing her daughter for the first and last time.
She also shared what was going through her mind at that moment.
“I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t cry, I didn’t cry,” she said. Instead, her mind replayed one line repeatedly: “Why me?
“Why did this happen to me? I didn’t understand the reason until seven years later, or even later.”
Tan said Chow was also devastated by the loss and refused to leave her side. It took the couple seven years to try to overcome the trauma.
“My daughter has died. The love that I have [for her] is something I’m not able to give her anymore. But it is something that I can give to others,” said Tan.
Ever since the incident, the couple have been helping out the needy. They have also committed 99 per cent of their assets and belongings to charity.
The two decided not to try for any more children, as Chow did not want his wife to suffer from any complications.