Mon, Aug 15, 2005 - Page 3 News List

Annette Lu undeterred by dry eyes, scratched cornea

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  STAFF REPORTER

Vice President Annette Lu yesterday takes a rest by closing her eyes during a meeting of the Democratic Pacific Union (DPU). After the meeting, Lu was asked by her doctor to temporarily cancel her upcoming scheduled events, due to her long-standing eye problems.

PHOTO: CHANG JEI-CHEN, TAIPEI TIMES

Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮), the main organizer and the newly elected chair of the Democratic Pacific Union (DPU), was asked by her doctor to temporarily cancel her attendance at the DPU meeting yesterday because of a long-standing eye problem.

The vice president has been swamped with the business of establishing the DPU recently, thus causing a relapse of her eye problem, said Cho Chun-ying (卓春英), deputy director-general of the Presidential Office's department of public affairs.

Lu had been suffer from xerophthalmia, a kind of eye disease causing dryness of the eyeball, for a long time, which makes her unable to stand the blaze of bright lights.

Chen Yao-chang (陳耀昌), the convener of a medical treatment committee for the vice president, said that the lights in the auditorium and the flash of light of the cameras caused a small scratch on Lu's cornea, a common injury that afflicts xerophthalmia sufferers.

"The vice president was treated in the hospital for 20 minutes. As it is not a serious problem, she should recover soon," Chen said.

Cho said that Lu, who planned to attend the entire DPU meeting, couldn't stand the pain in her eye and eventually agreed to act on her doctor's advice to be treated in the hospital and then go back home to take some rest.

Lu felt pain since she gave a keynote speech at the inaugural meeting around 11am, but she insisted on attending the meeting until the end, accompanying the attendants for lunch and having an interview with some guests in the afternoon, Cho said.

Cho said that Lu went to the hospital at 3pm and returned to attend the DPU forum in the evening.

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