A Hong Kong woman shot in the face during a high-profile hostage situation in the Philippines three years ago was on Thursday discharged from Chang Gung Memorial Hospital following successful reconstructive surgery.
In a press conference, Yik Siu-ling (易小玲), 37, thanked staff at the hospital’s Linkou (林口) branch for the “best present for Christmas and the New Year.”
Yik underwent surgery at the hospital on Dec. 18 and is satisfied with the results after more than 30 attempts to repair her lower jaw.
She celebrated her “rebirth” with the seemingly simple act of taking a bite of cake prepared by the hospital — something she could not have done before the surgery.
It “feels really good,” she said, to have finally finished this part of her life after dozens of visits to doctors in Hong Kong and South Korea.
With the operation a success, Yik’s doctors will follow her condition for four to six months and, if she recovers well, could perform an operation for a dental implant, lead doctor Wei Fu-chan (魏福全) said.
A team led by Wei, a leading expert in reconstructive microsurgery, spent more than 10 hours rebuilding Yik’s lower jawbone and the skin tissue on her jaw and neck.
He described the surgery as a “10” on a 1 to 10 scale, largely because of damage left by previous unsuccessful operations.
Yik sustained her injury in August 2010 during a high-profile hostage situation in Manila.
She was one of several people injured when former Filipino police officer Rolando del Rosario Mendoza hijacked a bus full of Hong Kong tourists in a stand-off that ended in a shootout with police.
Eight hostages and Mendoza lost their lives, and Yik was left with a fractured lower jaw bone after being hit by a bullet.