Manila hostage victim Yik Siu-ling just wants to chomp down on dinner

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 07 January, 2014, 3:14am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 07 January, 2014, 9:25am

Yik Siu-ling wants to sink her teeth deep into some tasty roast goose and barbecued pork, more than three years after she lost two-thirds of her lower jaw in the Manila hostage shooting.

The hostage survivor returns to Hong Kong tonight following a successful operation in Taiwan three weeks ago.

And with her shattered jaw reconstructed, she is hopeful of a new life ahead.

"Life will be better because I can eat [solid food] now," Yik, 37, said on the phone from Taiwan last night. "Hong Kong has a lot of good food. There are many things I like to eat, such as roast goose and barbecued pork."

Since the 2010 injury, Yik has only been able to chew solid food occasionally, as her jaw condition fluctuated between 33 operations performed at the Prince of Wales Hospital in Sha Tin. "It was only possible to eat on and off, with this year being the worst," she said. "I could not eat solid food for almost a year."

On August 23, 2010, a bullet shattered Yik's lower jaw, left thumb and right index finger when she was shot in the face by crazed gunman Rolando Mendoza as he killed eight Hongkongers on their tour bus.

She travelled to Taiwan on December 11 for surgery at Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, disappointed by the medical treatment in Hong Kong. A second operation at the hospital will take place in three months' time.

Professor Andrew Burd, who retired as head of plastic, reconstructive and aesthetic surgery at the Prince of Wales in August and who had operated on Yik, recently accused the hospital of delaying her treatment and another surgeon of committing errors in her surgery.

The Prince of Wales has denied the claims. The hospital said it contacted Yik in November and last month to clarify her records.

Yik said she had no wish to meet them at the moment. "They did not talk to me three years ago, and now they want to talk to me."

This evening, she will fly back with her twin sister Elaine Yik. Her son, five, will not be meeting them at the airport, but a couple from her church will pick her up.

She said she had bought Superman toys for her son, and Taiwanese delicacies including pineapple pastries and beef jerky for him and her mother.

With life returning to normal, Yik intends to attend church on Sunday. "It's been a month since I have been to church," she said. "I'm very happy there. We're like a family."