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Health and wellness

Risking lives for quick buck is unforgiveable, says widower in Hong Kong beauty treatment manslaughter case

Yeung Kam-hoi, husband of victim Chan Yuen-lam, describes heartbreaking last time he saw his wife in hospital

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 13 December, 2017, 9:49am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 13 December, 2017, 3:10pm

The man who lost his wife in the worst beauty treatment blunder in Hong Kong history said in tears on Tuesday that he would never forgive the boss and staff from the chain responsible.

“No one would ever forgive these people. They did all these things just because they wanted quick cash,” said Yeung Kam-hoi, the husband of victim Chan Yuen-lam.

Chan suffered from multiple organ failure in 2012 after she underwent experimental cancer therapy at the Hong Kong Mesotherapy Centre, which had been advertised to her as a health boost treatment. The cytokine-induced killer cell (CIK) treatment required blood to be drawn, enhanced and reintroduced to her body. 

Chan died on October 10, a week after she received the treatment at the Causeway Bay clinic run by beauty chain DR Group. She had suffered from septicemia, an infection of the blood.

The group’s boss, Dr Stephen Chow Heung-wing, 63, and technician Chan Kwun-chung, 32, who processed Chan’s blood, were found guilty of manslaughter at the High Court shortly before the husband’s emotional speech. 

The fate of a third defendant, Dr Mak Wan-ling, 35, who carried out the blood injection, was left hanging following a hung jury.

Speaking after the verdict, Yeung said he was happy about outcome.

“At least there was justice,” he said he wished he could tell her.

He said that since his wife’s death, he had been overwhelmed by grief.

Testifying during the trial, Yeung could still recall her last moments.

“She was intubated and could not speak. She had no response,” Yeung told the court then, describing the last time he saw his wife in hospital. 

“When I talked, I saw tears coming out of her eyes,” he recalled.

Yeung, who owns a restaurant in Wan Chai, said on Tuesday that he had been living an “exhausting” life, having to juggle work and family.

“Apart from working, I have picked up the role of a mother,” the father of two said.

Asked whether he would forgive the defendants, Yeung gave a firm “no”.

Though his replies were mostly brief, the widower did elaborate on this point, saying that no one would forgive people trying to make a quick buck at the risk of others’ lives.

Yeung added that although the court might not find one guilty, this did not mean the person was not wrong.