Thu, Jan 29, 2009
Alex To's mother dies at 76

Hong Kong singer Alex To's mother, veteran singer and actress Zhang Lu, died on the first day of Chinese New Year, Shin Min Daily News reported.

The cause of death was attributed to a stroke and multiple organ failure.

According to the report, Zhang Lu's death had been very sudden. She last spoke to her son Alex on Saturday (24 January) and was even looking forward to having a reunion dinner with the family the next day.

Hours later, Alex To received a call from his mother. Zhang complained that she is feeling unwell.

To lived not more than five minutes from his mother, but when he arrived at her home, she was already having difficulties breathing. He said she had slipped into a coma by the time the ambulance reached the hospital and never regained consciousness.

In an interview with the Hong Kong press, To said that his mother had responded to him during the time she was in coma.

"I whispered into her ear asking her to wake up so that she can go home and join us for our reunion dinner. I know she heard me, because her hand tightened her grip on mine for a brief moment, and her heart rate increased from 70bpm to 90bpm. Although she never regained consciousness, there is a close bond between us and I know that she can hear me when I speak to her."

The singer and actor also told the Hong Kong media that he felt that he had let his mother down by not fulfilling one of her wishes before her death.

"One of her greatest wishes in life was to see both my brother and I get married and have our own families. I think we let her down because we failed to fulfil that wish."

Born in Shanghai, Zhang Lu was one of the most popular singers in Hong Kong and Shanghai during the 1940s.

She met her husband, Spanish singer Ollie Delfino when performing a concert in Singapore. They married in 1957 and have two sons, Orlando To and Alex To. Alex's birth name is Alejandro Delfino.

According to the Hong Kong press, Zhang Lu had already made preparations for her death as early as two years ago. She will be buried in a Shanghai cemetery alongside celebrities such as Taiwanese singer Theresa Teng.

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