Vancouver’s assistant fire chief undergoes amputation in Hong Kong due to necrotising fasciitis, community rallies support

Christopher Won

26th February 2024 – (Vancouver) While on holiday in Hong Kong, Christopher Won, the assistant fire chief of Vancouver Fire and Rescue, has undergone an amputation of his lower right leg due to necrotising fasciitis. His wife, Marie Hui, known for her role as the anthem singer for the Vancouver Whitecaps, shared the harrowing tale on Instagram, revealing that Won’s survival through surgery was nothing short of miraculous.

The grim ordeal began with an emergency surgical intervention to contain the aggressive flesh-eating disease, which Hui suspects was contracted in Singapore, though the source remains a mystery. Necrotising fasciitis, a rare but severe bacterial infection, necessitates rapid medical response, and in Won’s case, it led to the life-altering operation.

Despite the severity of his condition, a photograph of Won, beaming with a bouquet of flowers—a gift from Vancouver Mayor Ken Sim—beside his hospital bed, has become a symbol of resilience and hope. Hui’s update expressed deep gratitude for the overwhelming support they’ve received, including numerous calls, messages, and the embrace of family during this challenging period.

The couple is currently awaiting medical clearance to return to Vancouver, with Hui indicating that their departure hinges on the pace of her husband’s recovery.

In a show of solidarity, the Vancouver community has swiftly mobilised to assist the family, which includes Won, Hui, and their two children. A GoFundMe campaign, initiated by close friend Linda Broda, has been launched to help mitigate the unforeseen medical costs and the financial impact of the family’s sudden loss of income. Broda’s appeal underscores the long road to recovery that lies ahead, even after their return to Canadian soil.

Support extends beyond financial aid, with Hui’s parents joining the couple in Hong Kong to provide hands-on care for the children. Friends and colleagues have expressed their shock and concern, with Clay Imoo, a family friend, remarking on Won’s usually robust health and Mayor Sim commending his service to the community. Sim has personally reached out to the family, endorsing the fundraising efforts to ease their burden.

Karen Fry, the fire chief and general manager of Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services, conveyed the department’s deep worry for Won and his family, praising his strength and commitment. She acknowledged the gratitude felt for the support pouring in from all corners, including civic leaders and the broader Vancouver community.

The donations amassed through the campaign are earmarked for medical bills, rehabilitation, and adapting to the new realities the family is facing. Hui, who has lent her voice to various sports events in Vancouver, is now experiencing the community’s reciprocated support in her family’s time of need.