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'I almost died': Hong Huifang recalls being hospitalised for 7 days for unknown disease

'I almost died': Hong Huifang recalls being hospitalised for 7 days for unknown disease
Hong Huifang recalled falling severely ill while filming The Teochew Family in 1995.
PHOTO: Instagram/Hong Huifang

Local veteran actress Hong Huifang will never forget how she almost lost her life after filming local drama The Teochew Family in China almost 30 years ago.

"I almost died in 1995," the 63-year-old revealed in the latest episode of Yes933 DJ Hazelle Teo's YouTube talk show, HTHT, which aired on June 7.

In the series, which follows the trials and tribulations of a Teochew family, she plays the second wife of the patriarch portrayed by the late Hong Kong actor Kenneth Tsang. It also stars Chen Shucheng and Zoe Tay.

Many people in the production team fell ill after returning from China, Huifang said.

"I don't know what bacteria it was. Maybe at the time, it was Sars (severe acute respiratory syndrome) but we didn't know… About 20 of us were ill," she recalled.

She added that three of them — including herself and an assistant director — had more severe symptoms such as fever, vomiting and diarrhoea, and had to be hospitalised.

Huifang said: "I even endured until we completed filming that scene and collapsed after that. I was hospitalised for seven days. 

"On the first two days, the doctor checked on me, but couldn't find anything. They had to insert needles everywhere because they needed to test my blood to see where the bacteria was going and the source of it. But they couldn't find it."


She also shared that the doctor had told her husband, actor Zheng Geping, to be prepared for the worst.

"The doctor called him out [of the ward] and told him, 'She's on her own for today. If she can make it past 24 hours, then she will make it through. If she can't, then we are so sorry about it'."

Huifang recalled that she was in a weak state, going in and out of consciousness. As the doctors could not find the root cause of the illness, they injected antibiotics into her and her hands were swollen after that.

"I came out of the illness after seven days and subsequently got better," she added.

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