周海媚 (1966-2023) was a very popular TV/movie star in the 1990s. Like Jackie Chan, Alan Tam, Eric Tsang et al, she became one of the few female HK artists who aligned themselves with mainland politics. She was even China’s vaccine ambassador, having publicly shared pictures of her confidently receiving 4 shots of China made vaccines on social media.
After her sudden death on 11 December 2023 which coincided with a spike in COVID cases, leaked medical notes sparked both interest and outcry.
Chinese media reports focussed on the item of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus. SLE was suddenly trending on searches. But it should be noted that SLE is chronic and easily manageable with modern medicine. A wealthy person like 周海媚 shouldn’t have died from SLE in a big city like Beijing.
What’s more significant than her history of SLE are the other details in the notes which though intrusive, are of public interest.
The notes were dated 11 December 2023. Time 11:11. She was found unconscious by her colleagues at 10:00 and her “heart had stopped an hour”. I presume it means that the trip to the hospital took one hour and the ambulance staff had been resuscitating her.
Either at the hospital or on the ambulance, she was given adrenaline, sodium chloride and sodium bicarbonate.
She remained unconscious, with stiffness, no heart beat, no body warmth, livor mortis. Her pupils were dilated and subconjunctival haemorrhage 8mm in diameter was observed.
Her recent medical history is most telling. She had been coughing for a week from asthmatic pneumonia and she had been on supplemental oxygen at home. Her symptoms were more serious in the early mornings and nights.
The COVID conspiracy theorists should take note that people with SLE are more prone to asthma. Subconjunctival haemorrhage is also consistent with asphyxia.
But then, is this report even real? Apparently, a nurse at the hospital has taken a shot of it, shared with her boyfriend and he (only reported as Mr Fu) was the one arrested. One obvious anomaly is the one hour that had elapsed between 周海媚’s colleagues discovering her and her arrival at the hospital. If her heart had really stopped for one hour, she ought to have been treated as dead on arrival. No medication would have been necessary.
Knowing her own condition, why was she not prudent enough to live within 5 minutes from a medical facility? As someone with SLE, she’s probably on steroids, making her vulnerable to infections. On the other hand, recent studies have found that some patients recovering from COVID presented with SLE signs and symptoms. Could 周海媚 be one of them? Could it be the vaccine that had triggered all this knowing that everything in China has to be 遥遥领先?
This theory is not without basis. China’s Google, Baidu had removed her once proudly displayed vaccination record. Her last booster “shot” was a nasal spray taken on 22 December 2022. But why did they have to remove that record? It’s not that they claimed that the vaccine confers immortality. Why can’t a person who had taken that vaccine have died for whatever reason?
Under Chinese law, the victim’s family reserves the right to sue the hospital but so far, in spite the spate of medical records of celebrities being leaked (Nicholas Tse, JJ Lin etc), perpetrators who disclosed confidential medical records have only seen a maximum of 9 days detention.