Hong Kong beauty customer describes learning how to walk again after horrific treatment
Woman testifies at manslaughter trial involving clinic that gave blood therapy
A woman had to spend months relearning how to walk after undergoing an “unnecessary” cancer treatment that left her limbs numb, a Hong Kong court was told on Tuesday during a manslaughter trial involving a Causeway Bay beauty clinic.
Wong Fung-kwan, 62, told the High Court that even now, five years after receiving the treatment, “it is still a problem for me. I always feel heaviness in my feet”.
“It is like I have received an anaesthetic injection,” she added.
Wong was testifying at the trial of two doctors and one laboratory technician from DR Group’s Hong Kong Mesotherapy Centre in Causeway Bay, who are accused of gross negligence in the death of Chan Yuen-lam, 46.
Wong and Chan both received the beauty chain’s induced killer cells (CIK) treatment at the centre.
Wong said after undergoing the treatment on October 3, 2012, her feet felt so hot, as if they had caught a fever. She ended up being hospitalised for seven months, during which she had to learn how to walk again.
A third woman named Wong Ching-bor, who also received the treatment and testified in court on Tuesday, had to have her legs and four fingers amputated.
DR Group head Dr Stephen Chow Heung-wing, employee Dr Mak Wan-ling, and technician Chan Kwun-chung have each denied one count of manslaughter.
The treatment, which the group learned from mainland, involved blood being taken from the women, processed with an enhanced white blood cell, and reintroduced into their bodies.
Prosecutors alleged the treatment was “wholly unnecessary” for cancer-free patients and had been contaminated.
Wong Fung-kwan told the court that the treatment had been promoted to her on several occasions as an immunity boost and a way to improve eczema before she paid HK$70,000 for it.
“When it was about two-thirds into the infusion, I began to feel discomfort. I felt some uneasiness in my heart and I feel dizziness in my head,” she recalled.
Wong said she was told to rest, most of the time by herself, but her symptoms did not subside. The mother of five was taken home by clinic staff, but had to attend Ruttonjee Hospital the following morning after falling severely ill on her way to work.
Had she known the treatment was experimental and carried a risk of bacterial infection, Wong told a jury of nine, she would not have taken it.
The court also heard from doctor Eugene Tso Yuk-keung, who tended amputee Wong Ching-bor while she was at United Christian Hospital. The head of infectious diseases recalled they had to surgically remove Wong’s legs and fingers to save her life.