Lee Ying-kwong was trying to repay a good turn when he jumped into the nullah to rescue the two boys, his wife said last night. 'Several years ago he nearly drowned while swimming and was saved by someone else. Since then he's always been ready to help other people. But this time it's cost him his life,' said Lee Yip Po-heung. Mrs Lee, 44, said: 'Isn't the cost too much? How can we live without him? He's the pillar of the family. 'I am a simple woman without a job or relatives in Hong Kong. How can I take care of the whole family?' After spending hours with police as they searched for her husband, Mrs Lee returned to her public housing flat in Lek Yuen, Sha Tin, with her 11-month-old son, Kwok-fai, last night. 'My husband is a good man,' she said. Mrs Lee came to Hong Kong from Xinhui, Guangdong, where the couple's 18-year-old son, Kwok-hung, still lives. She said her husband, 51, a plumber, was the only breadwinner in the family, earning about $10,000 a month. 'The weather has been so bad these few days, he had to stop work. Today he went to inspect a water pipe project in Quarry Bay after lunch. 'He was happy to get the job. But, God knows, he won't be able to return home,' she said. Now her wish is to see her elder son granted a permit to come to Hong Kong. 'I want him to say goodbye to his father. And I want him to stay in Hong Kong with me,' she said. 'He is 18 and should be mature enough to share the household burden with me,' she said. 'I just don't know how to face the days ahead on my own. Kwok-fai is too young to understand the death of his father.'