Chen Hung (陳宏), who wrote seven books with the blink on an eye, has died at age 83.
He died on Saturday morning at the Taipei City Hospital Zhongxiao Branch in Nangang District after his family agreed to take him off life support.
Chen worked for many years as an editorial writer for the China Evening News and chief photography editor for the China Post.
In 1997, he began to experience difficulties walking, which he thought might have been caused by a mild stroke or dislocated disks in his spine.
In 1999, he was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), which attacks the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, gradually paralyzing the person. By that time he could no longer move or talk.
At the time, he said: “Even suffering from illness, one must go on with energetic living.”
In the first 11 years after his illness was diagnosed, Chen managed, with the help of his wife, to write seven books, including Love for Life between Blinks (生命之愛,在眨眼之間), a total of 350,000 words, phoneme by phoneme.
To write, Chen’s wife, Liu Hsueh-hui (劉學慧), would read through the phonetic characters of a “bo-po-mo-fo” board, reciting the sounds over and over again and watching for her husband to blink at a phoneme. When a sentence was finished, Liu would read it back to Chen for him to confirm that it was what he wanted to say.
Attending neurologist Huang Chih-hsun (黃啟訓) said Chen’s family decided to take him off life support because his major organs had begun to fail and his blood pressure had been dropping rapidly and they did not want him to suffer further.
Taiwan Motor Neuron Disease Association chairman Liu Yen-chu (劉延鉅) said the news of Chen’s death came as a shock.
“It has been over a decade since he came down with ALS. He wrote seven books by blinking his eyes.
The most impressive thing was that for most people writing books, they have to check a lot of data when writing. For Chen, all the information was there in his head,” Liu Yen-chu said.
“He has been a model and a beacon for ALS sufferers to look up to. People with this disease have to deal with difficult conditions,” Liu Yen-chu added.
“Now he has been relieved of his mission. We hope he walked away in peace and is resting at ease now,” Liu Yen-chu said.
FAMILY FEUD: Weng Jen-hsien, who was convicted of killing six people in 2016, was the second prisoner to be executed since President Tsai Ing-wen took office A death row inmate was executed on Wednesday, less than a year after he was convicted of killing six people by setting fire to his home. Minister of Justice Tsai Ching-hsiang (蔡清祥) said that he signed the order and the death sentence was carried out on Wednesday afternoon in New Taipei City. The Supreme Court on July 10 last year sentenced 53-year-old Weng Jen-hsien (翁仁賢) to death after he was convicted of killing his parents, niece, nephew and nephew’s wife and his parents’ caregivers. Weng set fire to his home in Taoyuan’s Longtan District (龍潭) on Feb. 7, 2016, after a family feud
At a campground in Nantou County, a team of women are using ropes to shimmy up a towering seven-story tall Chinaberry tree, fighting their fear of heights and reconnecting with nature. Tree climbing remains somewhat niche in Taiwan, but a growing number of women are embracing the challenge thanks to the island’s first international certified female climber arborist. Sylvia Hsu (許芢涵), 26, said she was inspired to set up her own women-only tree climbing classes after seeing the popularity of similar gatherings in Europe. “A women-only camp is a more relaxed environment,” she said. “I was hooked on trees after my first climb...
Police in Kaohsiung are investigating a possible murder after a woman’s body was found in a plastic container on Thursday. The bucket was found by a person operating an excavator on a construction site at a private lot next to the Ciaotou Sugar Refinery Station (橋頭糖廠站) on the Kaohsiung Mass Rapid Transit system. Police investigator Chen Jen-cheng (陳仁正) yesterday said police had reviewed missing person reports and have narrowed the identity of the victim down to about 20 possible people. Physical evidence suggested she might have been a Fongshan District (鳳山) woman surnamed Lin (林), who was about 60 years old when she
IN PRINCIPLE: The Central Epidemic Command Center began yesterday to ban visits to hospitalized patients, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung said The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday announced 10 new COVID-19 cases — eight imported and two locally transmitted — bringing the nation’s tally of confirmed cases to 339. The imported cases involved six men and two women, all Taiwanese, who had traveled to Austria, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Indonesia, countries in Latin America, the UK or the US before arriving back in Taiwan between March 6 and Tuesday, center data showed. Among them, patient No. 338 was part of a tour group that traveled to Austria and the Czech Republic, and has resulted in an infection cluster of five cases,