As happy as we were to see Yvonne Lim again at the press conference for her comeback drama While You Were Away last Friday (Jun 14), it turned out it wasn’t exactly the most ideal time for the Taiwan-based actress to be away (get it?) from home during those few days.
“AJ is sick,” she lamented, her heart clearly aching for her 4-year-old son. “He’s been running a really high temperature - about 39 °C to 40 °C - for about three days now and it just wouldn’t go down, so it’s been a little bit worrying.”
Fortunately, the 42-year-old actress reported that the little one’s fever finally began to subside the day before, so she could “relax a bit”. Still, she made arrangements to cut short her time in Singapore so she could fly back to Taipei to be with her boy, which she did so the morning after the press conference.
“There’s this anxiety with being away from your sick child because you don’t know what’s going to happen,” she said. “Doctors have told me that if a kid’s temperature gets too high, they might have a seizure and you have to send them to the A&E, which is the last thing I want to do, especially in Taiwan.”
Explaining her apparent lack of faith in the country’s medical centres, she continued, “Singaporeans are so lucky because we have fantastic hospitals that are so clean and have great facilities, but that’s not really the case in Taiwan, where it’s also crowded and there are very long waiting hours.” Yikes. We hope AJ has made a full recovery by now.
This isn’t the first time that poor Yvonne has been worried sick about her eldest while she was away (yes, we did it again). She recalled the time she was cooped up in a confinement centre following the birth of her second child, 2-year-old daughter Alexa, when she received a message from her husband, former B.A.D member Alex Tien.
“He sent me a picture of AJ with a big cut on his nose, after he had fallen down and landed on a lego brick. That was very scary! Can you imagine turning on your phone and the first thing you see is your son looking all bloody!?”
To make matters worse, it was the Chinese New Year holiday period in Taiwan, which means it was extremely difficult to get a doctor. In the end, Alex managed to locate one, but because they couldn’t find any anaesthetic, they had to patch the wound up without stitches, so there is still some scarring on AJ’s scratched snout to this day.
Oh, and we forgot to mention that during all that, Yvonne was still stuck in the confinement centre, helpless and in tears. “I was getting a massage and crying throughout, and the masseuse felt so sorry for me and said, ‘Did you know you can go home to see your child?’ I was like, ‘Really!?’ I thought being in a confinement centre had to be like being in jail!”
Without wasting another second (she’d already been away from AJ for one full day after the accident), she immediately dropped everything and rushed home to check on her son. “Because of that, I still have this fear of being away from him because I’m very nervous that something will happen again.”
So how does she prevent such a situation from rearing its ugly head again? “I just have to keep teaching him to be careful and remind him not to hold anything while running around,” she shrugged. And if all else fails, there is always the good ol’ toy-confiscating threat. “AJ loves his cars and favourite pillow, so sometimes I warn him that I will throw them away if he doesn’t listen to me. (Laughs)”
It’s a disciplinary tactic that is hilariously ineffective when it comes to Alexa, whom Yvonne described as “a cool babe”. “She’s so chill, I don’t know what to do with her,” she sighed. “When I threaten AJ he’ll be like ‘oh no!’ but Alexa doesn’t care. Nothing breaks her, and I still haven’t found her weakness yet, which is very stressful because I don’t have anything to use against her!”
(Continued on next page: Shaun Chen and Ya Hui recall incidents that happened at home while they were away)
Shaun Chen recalls mum's health scare while he was away
Yvonne’s While You Were Away co-star Shaun Chen, who had just returned from a family vacation in Bangkok, also had a story to tell about a scare that happened at home when he was not around. In fact, he wasn’t even in the same country.
“From the time I was a teenager, I wasn’t at home a lot because I would go out to find jobs and earn my own money, but I’ve always worried about my parents’ health,” he shared. Sure enough, his worst nightmare came true about 10 years ago, when his mother suffered a heart attack back in Malaysia - and he was here in Singapore.
Thankfully, she wasn’t alone when the incident occurred, as Shaun’s siblings, nephews, and nieces were all around to take care of things and send her to the hospital, which was nearby. Still, we can’t imagine how distressed he must have been on the flight home.
Now, the 40-year-old actor has more people to worry about, namely, his daughters Nellie and Neia. “But so far, everything has been okay,” he smiled. “I’m thankful to my wife [Celine] for taking care of everything.”
Ya Hui recalls being naughty while her mum was away
For Ya Hui, the worst thing that’s ever happened at home in her absence was her dad forgetting how to use a messaging app to contact her. True story.
“Once, before I went overseas, I taught my dad how to use WeChat because I didn’t want to spend too much money on international calls and texting,” she recalled. “He said he understood at first, but as soon as I left Singapore, he totally forgot everything and I had to make an expensive long-distance call to check up on him!”
“Every time I travel, I get paranoid that he will forget how to use WeChat again, because I don’t feel good not having a way to know what’s going on at home,” she continued. “But now he has finally gotten the hang of it because I forced him to learn it properly. (Laughs)”
The 32-year-old actress also came clean about getting up to her own shenanigans at home while her folks were not around. “I’m generally quite obedient, but there was one time my mum went on a Europe trip and told me to sweep the floor every day, but I only did it once every two to three days,” she chuckled.
“When she came back she asked me if I did what I was told, and I said yes, but actually I didn’t,” she grinned, before looking at us with a sly expression on her face. “Don’t tell me you never did this too!”
Guilty as charged.
While You Were Away premieres on June 24 and airs weekdays at 9pm on Channel 8.
Watch episodes in advance on Toggle-It-First.