Polio-Stricken Wife Of Ex TVB Actor Ng Bok Kwan, Who Suffers From ALS, Considered Giving Up And Dying Together With Him
The stress of caring for her husband has taken a toll on her and she doesn’t dare to think about when their money will run out.
In March 2018, former TVB actor Ng Bok Kwan’s world came crashing down when he was diagnosed with ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis), a progressive neurological disease which causes you to lose control of your muscles.
Bok Kwan, who had always been in good health, lost strength in his limbs and could not get out of bed. Even simple actions like brushing his teeth or picking up objects were difficult.
His condition has deteriorated in recent years. His wife shared that the 66-year-old is now mainly confined to bed and can only eat soft food.
When Bok Kwan was diagnosed with the illness, Mrs Ng, 61, quit her job to take care of his daily needs like showering. However, these tasks are a huge struggle for Mrs Ng, who has health problems of her own.
Besides suffering from polio, which makes mobility difficult, she also has eye conditions like glaucoma, cataract, and severe myopia and presbyopia.
She is able to get by with the help of a domestic helper, but the additional expenses are a huge strain on their already tight finances.
At a recent meeting for caregivers of persons with disabilities, Mrs Ng shared her struggles and urged the government to provide financial and emotional support to needy families like hers.
"When you see the health of the people around you deteriorating and you are helpless, and you are faced with expenses amounting to tens of thousands of dollars every month, you don’t dare to think about when you will run out of money,” she said.
She added: “I once broke down to the point of hitting my head against the wall… without [her domestic helper’s] help, I would hug [Bok Kwan] and die together.”
Bok Kwan said in a previous interview that he was very grateful to his wife for her tireless care.
"I don't know what I would do without her. I am very grateful to have such a gift in my later years," he said.
He also thanked his friends for their support and donations, saying that he would face the disease head on.
The Hong Kong Performing Artist Guild (HKPAG) and the Artist Training Alumni Association (ATAA) have been providing financial aid to Bok Kwan. Fellow actors like Andy Lau, Louis Koo, Evergreen Mak and Fiona Sit have also come forward with donations.
Bok Kwan joined TVB after graduating from its artiste training class in 1979. In his 18 years in showbiz, he played mostly supporting roles and villains, and is best known for his role in 1996 wuxia drama State of Divinity.
In 1997, he was laid off by TVB due to the financial crisis and went to work in a variety of jobs like baker and cleaner at a hotel.
Photos: Hong Kong Performing Artists Guild YouTube