'My mind went blank': Edmund Chen shares story of how son Yixi almost lost an eye
The veteran actor spoke to Love 972’s breakfast show hosts Chen Biyu, Marcus Chin, Dennis Chew and Mark Lee about the incident that happened to his son many years ago, but which still gets him feeling emotional even now.
It doesn’t matter who you are, it’s never easy for any parent to hear that their child has to undergo a serious surgery.
Veteran actors Edmund Chen and Xiang Yun underwent that nightmare scenario when son Yixi, who is also an actor, contracted a cornea infection when he was a teenager and had to undergo surgery with the possibility of losing his left eye.
Edmund spoke to Love 972’s breakfast show hosts Chen Biyu, Marcus Chin, Dennis Chew and Mark Lee about the incident that happened to his son many years ago, but which still gets him feeling emotional even now.
The 60-year-old recounted that Yixi, who’s now 30, used to wear glasses and would bump into things because he was careless. So when a friend offered hard contact lenses for him to wear overnight, Edmund thought it was a good idea. Unfortunately, when Yixi tried it on, it inflamed his left eye.
His condition worsened the next morning and Edmund was shocked to see the white in his son’s eye had turned red and his iris had turned grey.
As both he and Xiang Yun needed to work, they asked him to go to the hospital by himself.
The moment Edmund was about to step onto the stage for his work event, he received a call from the doctor saying they had to remove his son’s left eye.
“They said that they were worried that the infection would reach his brain. I thought that I had misheard what the doctor said because he said it very casually.” But when he got somewhere quieter, the doctor said the same thing. “My mind went blank and I didn’t know what to do,” Edmund shared.
Despite hearing the devastating news, Edmund was unable to rush down to the hospital because of work. When the event wrapped up, Yixi was done with surgery as well. Thankfully, the doctor decided not to remove his eye, but to burst the sac for the pus to drain out instead.
Recovery was tough as pus oozed out of the wound for weeks. Both Edmund and Xiang Yun also spent years looking for suitable treatment for Yixi’s eyes, following the episode.
“We tried everything from western doctors to traditional medicine… We spent seven or eight years looking. We even went to Taiwan in hopes of finding a cure. I went to temples, churches, and just about everywhere to try to find a way to make things better.”
The search only stopped when Yixi told his father: “Dad, you seem to be having a hard time. Don’t worry, I’ve gotten used to it.”
Yixi's condition has since improved as the young actor got a partial cornea transplant when he was in the army and he now has 75 per cent vision in his left eye.