As home-grown actress Eleanor Lee celebrated her 18th birthday last week, her mother, TV host Quan Yifeng, shared a heartstrings-tugging story of her experience birthing Eleanor on Facebook.

The daughter of Yifeng and former Channel 8 actor Peter Yu was thrown a lavish party and given gifts including a bungalow and a piano by her company.

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Thank you for my magical night

A post shared by Eleanor Lee 李凱馨 (@eleanorleex) on

Yifeng, 43, wrote that she experienced contractions 18 years ago on Oct 11, 1999, during the Taiwan 921 earthquake aftershocks.

“The doctor said: Mum, you have no more strength, it’s very dangerous, we need to do a C-section,” she wrote. It cost NT$100,000 ($4,500), a sum she did not have as she was getting by on her own.

She said she rushed home and took a branded watch that Eleanor’s godfather, hairstylist Addy Lee, had given her.

She pawned the watch and returned to the hospital where she gave birth to her daughter the next day.

“Today you are 18 and an adult,” wrote Yifeng. “Mum is telling you about what happened and giving you the watch that saved our lives.”


Posted by Quan Yifong 权怡凤 on Thursday, 12 October 2017

She did not mention where Yu was during that time and how she got the watch back.

Eleanor shared photos of the birthday party on Instagram, thanking her loved ones for her “magical night”.

The Straits Times reported in July that the teenager was admitted into the prestigious Beijing Film Academy, which has produced stars such as Zhao Wei and Huang Xiaoming.

It was also reported earlier this year that she will star with Hong Kong actor Leon Lai in his first television drama in 23 years.

Eleanor first caught the attention of the Chinese audience when she starred in an advertisement campaign for Apple in China in 2015.

She has more than 2.2 million fans on Sina Weibo, China’s version of Twitter.

Image: Dios Vincoy Jr / The Straits Times
Text: Lydia Lam / The Straits Times / October 2017

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