Photo: Rebecca Lim
In the wee hours of Monday morning (June 8), Rebecca Lim shocked her Instagram followers when she posted a picture of herself lying on a hospital bed with the caption, “Thank you God for your hand in my life. Grateful for my family who rushed me to the A&E when I was in such bad pain, and my very understanding colleagues for all your love. I’ve been trying hard to hold up for the past 3 weeks but eventually, my body gave in. But nothing serious not to worry :) I will keep fighting!” (The post has been taken down because Rebecca was “uncomfortable with the attention”.)
The MediaCorp actress had been admitted to Mount Elizabeth Hospital after experiencing a sudden and excruciating pain in her ribs while driving home from work on Sunday night (June 7). This came after a three-week battle with an intense flu – the worst she’s ever gotten sick in nine years, as Rebecca revealed in a phone interview with Toggle, during which she still sounded weary and slightly husky-voiced.
“I went to see a doctor and took medical leave for three days after about a week of coughing, but I could only rest for a day as I had to go back for a shoot,” she said, adding that she had already started feeling unwell while filming her risky bridge-dangling scene for upcoming rom-com Sealed with a Kiss on May 21. “My chest started to hurt again four to five days ago, but I dismissed it as a pulled muscle from coughing so much.”
When Rebecca finally visited her family physician on Sunday, he suspected the cause of her agony to be a hole in the lungs. Fearing the worst, she was immediately sent to the Accident & Emergency (A&E) department, where doctors ran an X-ray and blood tests on her.
Thankfully, Rebecca’s tests came up clear of punctured lungs, cracked ribs or tuberculosis (TB). However, the results baffled doctors as they were unable to pinpoint the source of her pain.
“They said it’s just a very bad viral infection – stats-wise, I’m perfectly healthy! It’s very strange.” she said. “I could go for a more in-depth checkup, but I only have a three-day break and I don’t want to waste it away in a hospital doing tests, when I could just be resting at home. We’ll see how long this drags on for.”
Even now, Rebecca experiences aches whenever she coughs, laughs or even just breathes, and is relying on painkillers to endure it. Despite her suffering, she can’t help but worry about work, which she has to return to on Thursday (June 11) despite being given a five-day medical leave until Friday, and inconveniencing her colleagues.
“My sickness was already affecting my performance because my voice would crack halfway or I would start coughing, but the shoot has to go on,” she said. “I’ve never taken medical leave for any production before, and I feel very bad for the team because they have to reschedule all my scenes, but they’re all very understanding.”
When asked if anyone has paid her a visit, she said although many colleagues have messaged her with that intention, she urged them to “not bother and take care of themselves”. “Everyone has been very nice but I’ve never gotten so much attention from being sick so it’s a bit uncomfortable, but also very heartwarming.”
Get well soon, Becks!