Taiwanese girl group SHE member Selina Jen’s life changed forever on October 22, 2010. The singer was filming musical drama I Have a Date with Spring in Shanghai when a terrible on set explosion left her with third-degree burns on over half of her body. October 22 marked the 10th anniversary of the accident, or as Selina calls it her ‘rebirthday’. The SHE member went on to her socials to share a lengthy text message her father had sent her early that morning.
In the text, it was the description of what happened when he found out that Selina was injured and the days that followed. The post wrote that Papa Jen was at the gym when he received a call from one of Selina’s colleagues informing him that his daughter had been injured during the shoot.
“I asked if it was life-threatening, and when they said it was, it felt like I had been struck by lightning,” he wrote. “I felt numb from head to toe.”
Selina’s dad then went home to pack a few things before flying to China with Selina’s then-fiancé, now ex-husband Richard Chang and a few others. They arrived at the hospital around midnight but was not allowed to see Selina for three days due to regulations.
On the first night they were there, he told Richard, “Although you two are already engaged, I think Selina has already changed beyond recognition and is no longer the original Selina. Let’s call off the engagement.”
However, as we all know, they went through with the wedding the very next year. “I am so grateful for Richard’s loyalty. If not for his care day and night, as well as his calm and rational personality as a lawyer, it would have been difficult for Selina to make it through this valley of death.”
However, the pair divorced in 2016 after being married for five years. Selina and her family managed to get an emergency flight back to Taiwan on the third day and it was then that Papa Jen had a chance to see Selina who was ‘bandaged like a mummy’ for the first time since the accident. “It’s been 10 years, and the image of us crying together on the plane is still very vivid in my mind.”
The toughest part was the road to recovery. The SHE singer had to receive morphine injections every day ‘cos of the excruciating pain she was in, and she was constantly struck with high fevers that wouldn’t go away. Papa Jen also refused to let their relatives visit her ‘cos he was afraid they wouldn’t be able to handle seeing her in her condition, which might make Selina feel guilty.
Three months later, Selina was discharged from the hospital but things did not get easier. Pape Jen did not deliberate about this part but he said that the rehabilitation process at home was even longer and more painful than it was at the hospital. The burn scars on Selina is still visible but she is not hiding them.
But she survived, and Papa Jen couldn’t be prouder. “During the rehabilitation process, a middle-aged woman who also suffered severe burns came to visit you,” he recalled. “In addition to sharing about her own experiences, she encouraged you to get better, and confidently declared that one day, you would be able to swim, soak in hot springs, run, and climb mountains like her. I remember thinking, what long and difficult days we have ahead of us.”
He continued, “Now, 10 years have passed. Whether it’s running, climbing mountains, swimming, or soaking in hot springs, Selina, you have done it, you have done it, you have done it. Daddy and mummy are so proud of you, so proud of you. Bless you.”
Papa Jen did not forget to thank all the people who accompanied Selina on her journey, from the rehabilitation care team to those who prayed for her and sent them their sincerest well-wishes.
Selina herself ended the post with a brief note of her own, writing, “Thank you for patiently reading Papa Jen’s life story. I’m sincerely grateful for everyone, and I also wish you all well. Live in the moment and be happy and healthy.”
She turns 39 at the end of this month. /TISG
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