'You can choose to let go if you want to': Benjamin Tan's Mum Still In A Coma After 5 Months
"It's a tough battle for us the family, especially coming from a family of three and I'm the only child in the family."
Five months ago, young local actor Benjamin Tan took to Instagram to share an emotional post about his 51-year-old mother who suddenly fell into a coma. In his post, he said that doctors told him his mother “could go anytime”.
After AsiaOne’s article on the incident was published, many readers expressed concern and well-wishes for Mrs Tan.
Unfortunately, five months on, things have not looked up for her.
At the sidelines of the virtual press conference for his new Chinese drama Mister Flower yesterday (Dec 17), the 27-year-old actor told AsiaOne that his mother’s condition “didn’t really take a turn for the better”.
After his initial Instagram post, Benjamin did not speak much publicly about his mother’s condition.
“I didn’t really post many updates subsequently because I didn’t want to worry everyone too much and my mum’s condition didn’t really take a turn for the better. At this point of time, as we’re speaking, she’s actually kind of still struggling with every condition, there’s, like, new conditions coming out every other day,” Benjamin said.
“It’s a tough battle for us the family, especially coming from a family of three and I’m the only child in the family. I guess the pressure is quite huge, so we can’t really do much on our end. And the doctors are all trying their best to obviously prolong my mum’s life and condition.”
Benjamin has always been very close to his mother, and believes his mother can hear him when he talks to her.
“I told my mum, ‘This battle is yours to fight, if you want to fight on, obviously the family will be there to support you in any other way like always, if you’re willing to fight. At the same time if you are worried about me or dad, then don’t worry too much and if you’re very tired, you can choose to let go if you want to.'”
To have to say something like that to your loved ones is incredibly tough, Benjamin added.
“All I can say is that it’s really up to her whether she wants to fight on or not. But no matter which route she chooses, our family will be there to support her.”
Benjamin has continued to take on work projects through the ordeal, revealing that it’s been “‘very tough” to juggle his personal and work life, especially when there are ongoing shoots.
While shooting Mister Flower, he said the hardest part was “keeping up with his own mental health”.
Even so, he never considered taking a break. Benjamin said their personal lives have to go on, as his mum’s condition is a battle that could go on for an unpredictable amount of time.
“We wouldn’t know how long my mum’s condition will be. So, if it’s gonna be a battle for, like, years, I can’t be taking a break for years as well. I guess my mum also wouldn’t want to see that I gave up on my career or work just to accompany her, I guess she’ll be more devastated if she realised that happened,” he said.
He added that him sitting idle at his mother’s bedside would also be something that she wouldn’t want.
“I’m the only child so I’m like her whole world, her world revolves around me. If I really gave up on myself or my career just to be with her, I don’t think that’s something she wants to see. So that’s the motivation that keeps me going every single day.”
Benjamin also revealed that the post he shared about his mother was one of the more personal things he put out to the public. However, he said he has always intended to use his Instagram platform to share with his fans a more personal side of himself.
“There are a lot of influencers and content creators out there who might not really share their personal life but for me, it’s like a platform to show like who I really am, be it how I am with my friends and family or my daily life,” he said.
“I feel like it’s a platform for the fans to actually know me better as a person. So, I guess sharing personal stuff hasn’t really been like much of an issue for me till today. I guess when it came to sharing that post about my mum and I, it wasn’t really something I wanted to put out there to get sympathy from people. It was about how I felt at that point of time and something I really wanted to tell my mum.”
Benjamin added that he was shocked to see the overwhelming concern from the public.
He said: “To be honest, I was quite surprised that so many people are so concerned — like genuinely concerned over the whole incident. So, for that I’m really grateful for everyone’s care and concern.”
In Mister Flower, Benjamin plays Sherman Lee whom he describes as a “mean hooligan” and who will always protect his family despite the disagreements. His character grew up in an orphanage with Chen Datian (played by Shane Pow), He Zhongting (Nick Teo), and Chen Xueli (Hong Ling).
One day, Datian is transformed into a woman named Chen Huahua (Rui En) after consuming a drink made by a mysterious woman (Liu Ling Ling). This is his punishment for his disrespectful attitude towards women.
The 20-episode show also stars Rui En, Elvin Ng, and Julie Tan. It will be available on demand for free on meWATCH from Dec 28, and will premiere on Channel 8 on Dec 31 at 9pm.
This article was first published in AsiaOne and republished on theAsianparent with permission.
Lead image from Instagram / bentanzx
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