Act of courage to singer's credit

UP and coming singer Victoria Chan Yik has set an example of courage for many by becoming Hongkong's youngest unrelated bone marrow donor last November, when she was 19 .

Most of us fear that an operation to aspirate bone marrow can be very painful. But for Chan, saving a dying patient overcame all fear of pain.

''Any fear I had disappeared when I understood that I would be under general anaesthetic,'' she told Young Post.

Chan's initiative began in October 1991 when she was a fifth-former at S.T.F.A. Leung Kau Kui College in Tsuen Mun.

She went with some classmates to a blood test drive organised by the Hongkong Marrow Match Foundation (HKMMF).

The drive aimed to find a compatible donor for little Gordon Wu, the two-year-old Canadian-Chinese suffering from blood cancer.


When Dr Raymond Liang, HKMMF's honorary secretary, called her for two more tests six months later, she immediately travelled all the way from her Tsuen Mun home to Queen Mary Hospital.

Her family, however, were concerned when two weeks before the operation their daughter fainted in the hospital right after 300cc of blood were taken from her.

''It was a busy period for me and my health had weakened,'' Chan said.

She said she felt no pain during the two-hour operation.


''I found only some soreness afterwards at the hip bone area that was operated upon.'' Dr Liang, who performed the operation, said that risk of danger was greater for the receiving patient than the donor.

''The risk of danger for the donor is only one in 10,000. Many such operations have been performed throughout the world. '' But in Hongkong, Victoria is one of only eight unrelated donors who have fulfilled their commitment.


Dr Liang explained that a lack of understanding of the operation process and the risk involved has created unnecessary apprehension among some potential donors.

But he said there has been a positive response from some new town residents who have actually requested blood test drives in their areas.

As for Chan, she is looking forward to a successful singing career.


She has just released her debut record, Tomorrow . . . If, a collection of children's songs.