Serena Liu in critical condition after heart surgery

Serena Liu is known as Taiwan’s “queen of ballroom dancing”.
Serena Liu is known as Taiwan’s “queen of ballroom dancing”. PHOTO: SERENACHENLIU/INSTAGRAM

TAIPEI • Taiwan's "queen of ballroom dancing" Serena Liu is reportedly in critical condition after her heart stopped during an operation two weeks ago, Taiwan media reported.

Liu, 44, also known as Liu Chen, had gone for heart valve repair surgery. She is known for hosting the talk show, Fall In Love With 9.30 (2005 to 2006), with television host Jacky Wu. She is also an expert in Latin dance.

On Wednesday, Taiwan's Liberty Times reported that Liu had fallen into a coma after the operation and been put on extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, or Ecmo, for 13 days.

Liu's husband, singer Shin Lung, said initially through his manager that his wife was in hospital for a health screening.

However, the Taipei Veterans General Hospital, where Liu was hospitalised, confirmed the media reports later in the day.

Wu, the head of Shin's management agency, also confirmed the news indirectly when he told the media he was aware of her condition.

Taiwanese media said Liu, who suffered from a narrowed aortic valve, could have opted for an aortic valve replacement, but it would require long-term medication after the surgery to prevent blood clots.

Liu, who has a four-year-old daughter with Shin, opted for heart valve repair surgery as she is hoping to have a second child. She had expressed concerns that her plans would be derailed by the medication.

According to Apple Daily, Shin has suspended his work and is at home taking care of his daughter, while his mother-in-law is accompanying Liu in hospital.

China Times said that Shin, who appeared in Singaporean director Jack Neo's movie Killer Not Stupid, which was screened in Taiwan during Chinese New Year, has taken part in only two promotional activities for the movie. He did not take part in other activities on Dec 17 last year, citing a clash in schedules, leading to speculation that Liu has been unwell since then.

Sources told Taiwanese media that Liu's family is looking into the possibility of a heart transplant for her and waiting for a heart donor.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 22, 2020, with the headline 'Serena Liu in critical condition after heart surgery'. Print Edition | Subscribe