Hong Kong father shares life lessons learned after death of daughter Chau Tin-yu

She was diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare type of cancer, at age four and had received chemotherapy and radiotherapy in the run-up to the operation.

The ordeal attracted media attention, with Chau alleging the incident was down to a medical blunder and filing a civil lawsuit against the Hospital Authority. A settlement was reached last year.

Chau, a former online business owner, said he was trying to channel his feelings of loss and grievance from the family’s painful journey into helping others in need.

“I always think the universe may want you to learn or do something through these experiences. Are you simply letting this pain and grief haunt you for life? Are you simply feeling sorry for yourself and blaming others?” he said.

“Are you able to transform these experiences into something positive to help yourself and even others?”

The former business owner, now 46, also said he had started volunteering with Hong Kong Caring Power this year, joining the non-profit organisation to visit elderly people with no families and helping them to make funeral arrangements.

Chau added that he planned to work on projects that helped ill children, especially those suffering from cancer, to get cheaper medicines from mainland China and also supported bereaved parents in arranging funerals.

Throughout Tin-yu’s life and the legal battle, her father used social media to document his family’s efforts to take care of his daughter and their talks with the Hospital Authority.

Families seeking help to bring alleged medical blunders to court have also turned to Chau for help, asking his advice on how to apply for medical records, contact hospitals’ patient relations offices, and get assistance from lawmakers and lawyers.

Tin-yu spent four years in a vegetative state after a blood transfusion was delayed for 48 minutes and her heart stopped beating for nearly an hour during a surgical operation in 2020. Photo: Handout

He recalled consoling the parents of one-year-old “Little Suet-yee”, who suffered brain damage after being allegedly abused by a babysitter, referring the couple to Hong Kong Caring Power for free legal consultation and to connect them with a legislator and the press.

“They have to take care of their daughter in hospital every day, which can be heartbreaking and leave them feeling helpless,” he said. “What I say can be more convincing than what others say since I understand their pain.”

Chau said he spent years going through medical records and Hospital Authority letters as part of his legal battle, adding he never received an apology or a clear explanation over Tin-yu’s death.

“There were times when I could not sleep at all. I would look at the records and listen to the recordings until 5am or 6am in the morning,” he said.

Police in November launched a criminal investigation following Chau’s discovery that a doctor had deleted a note from his daughter’s medical record that said she had been injected with a 500ml mixture of glucose and saline during her procedure.

The change to her medical record happened only eight days after her surgical operation.

But Chau said he was not confident that someone would be held accountable, as he had seen past cases of alleged medical blunders ending in a similar way.

The whole process tired him out, he said, adding a cancerous tumour was discovered on one of his arms last July and cancer was found in his left lung a month later.

Chau said he was now cancer-free after receiving treatment, adding he had learned to be less fixated on adversities in life.

“The most important thing in life is happiness and not caring too much about success and failure, winning and losing,” he said.

Chau and his wife were also putting more focus on their 10-year-old son Marcus, who has autism.

“In the past, I felt sorry for not being able to spend much time with my son as we always had to visit Tin-yu in hospital,” he said.

Chau said that while Marcus excelled academically, he had been facing challenges communicating with his classmates and teachers.

“He struggles to accept that his classmates do not return the favour after receiving his help, or his teachers did not accept an apology, unlike what he expected,” he said.

Chau said he was taking his own lessons from the family’s past struggles to teach his son that life was full of unexpected events.

“I explained to him that interacting with others is like playing a game of Go,” he said, adding that his son loved the game.

“After you do the first move, your opponent’s next move may make it difficult for you to lay out your second move as expected,” Chau said.

Eddie Chau says he plans to starting looking for work again and resume his role as the family breadwinner. Photo: Edmond So

The thought of his daughter still brings tears to his eyes, Chau said, adding his feelings about the situation were conflicted.

“For us, we understand her death may not have been the worst outcome,” he added.

Chau said he planned to start looking for work again and continue in his role as the family’s breadwinner.

“If you look a little farther, it may be a good thing for her, us, our son and our whole life,” he said.

“In heaven, Tin-yu will feel no pain or sickness. She is free to do whatever and go wherever she wants. Daddy really misses you.”

Source link

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button

Get our latest downloads and information first. Complete the form below to subscribe to our weekly newsletter.

    Input this code: captcha