Estranged for almost 20 years, they die less than 24 hours apart

Estranged for almost 20 years, they die less than 24 hours apart
APART IN LIFE: Madam Chen Yue Xuan held a joint wake for her parents, who died within 24 hours of each other. PICTURE: SHIN MIN

Frequent arguments drove the former husband and wife apart when their daughter was still young.

But decades later, the pair reunited - although in death - thanks to their only daughter.

Last Friday, Madam Chen Yue Xuan's mother, Madam Wu Swee Kiou, died in an old folks' home, Shin Min Daily News reported.

Madam Wu, 84, was diagnosed with end-stage cancer three months ago. She also suffered from dementia and depression and had been living there for the past five years.

Madam Wu's death left her daughter so busy with funeral preparations that she had no opportunity to break the news to her father.

Shock

But she was in for another shock the next day, when a social worker called to inform her that her father, Mr Chen Jun Dong, had passed out in his Hougang flat.

The 87-year-old was taken to Changi General Hospital by paramedics who happened to be in the vicinity.

Madam Chen, a housewife, later found out that her father was in a coma and would need to undergo surgery.

"My son talked to the doctor, who said that there was only a 50 per cent success rate in the surgery and he could go into a vegetative state," Madam Chen told Shin Min.

When she arrived at the hospital, she spoke to her father, who was still in a coma.

"I told him that my mother had died, so it's time he let go of any baggage," she said.

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