Man, 95, visited stricken wife daily for 40 days

STRONG BOND: The elderly man would hold his wife's hands every time he visited her in hospital.The 88-year-old woman had fallen and suffered a hip fracture on May 4. Her health worsened on Friday and she died on Saturday. PHOTOS: LIANHE WANBAO

They were married for 70 years. So strong was the husband's love for his wife that when she was admitted to hospital, he visited her daily in the last 40 days of her life.

The 95-year-old man, who did not give his name, would hold her hands every time he visited her.

"If I don't hold her hand, I may not have the chance to any more," he was quoted by Chinese daily Lianhe Wanbao as saying. He had insisted on visiting her every day.

The elderly man's 88-year-old wife had been taken to Khoo Teck Puat Hospital due to a hip fracture from a fall at Greenwich V shopping mall on May 4.

The couple had been at the mall with family members for a meal when the woman was hit by sliding glass doors as they closed, Wanbao reported yesterday. She fell in pain and could not get up. The mother of 12 had to undergo surgery at the hospital for her hip fracture, but it was delayed as she developed a fever.

After the surgery, she was still unable to stand and stayed first at Khoo Teck Puat Hospital and later at Ang Mo Kio Thye Hua Kwan Hospital.

Last Tuesday, she was given antibiotics but her condition did not seem to improve. Last Friday, her health deteriorated. She died on Saturday afternoon.

One of her six sons, businessman Liao Mingcheng, 55, told Wanbao that she had always been healthy and her death greatly saddened the family. Mr Liao said her death affected his father the most; he broke down after learning she had died.

The elderly man wept for days and his health appeared to worsen, said his son. Worried for him, family members allowed the man to attend his wife's wake only in the evenings.

Said the younger man: "My father wept until his eyes were dry. The expression on his face at the wake as he looked on at the casket was heartbreaking."

Mr Liao said he saw the closed-circuit television footage showing how his mother had fallen. He said his mother had been walking slowly towards the motion-activated sliding doors, but they closed on her before she passed through them.

A spokesman for Greenwich V expressed their condolences and said they had sent representatives to visit the family, and would do their best to help them.

A spokesman for Far East Organisation, which owns Greenwich V, told Wanbao that representatives from the group had visited the elderly woman while she was in hospital, and were in touch with the insurance companies involved.

Tests were run on the sliding doors, which were found to be functioning normally.

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