She just wants to be a mother
Andrea De Cruz says 'having kids has always been at the back of my mind'
Even at 39 years old, local personality Andrea De Cruz has not stopped thinking about being a mother - and the fact that she may have only eight years left to live.
De Cruz, who has been married to local actor Pierre Png, 40, for 11 years, is unable to have her own children as she is on anti-rejection medication after a liver transplant in 2002.
The couple made headlines back then, when De Cruz suffered liver failure after taking slimming pills Slim 10 and Png, her then-fiancé, donated part of his liver to her.
The celebrity couple were guests at a Lux event to unveil its new collection on Wednesday night, where they talked about what keeps their relationship alive and renewing their wedding vows in church last year.
Speaking to The New Paper at an interview afterwards, the lovebirds appeared at ease and were candid about their marriage and even about a topic as morbid as her life expectancy.
De Cruz said: "Statistics show that my body might reject the liver after 20 years. It's been 12 years now, so we have eight more years to go. What if the statistics are true? What if I lose my liver eight years later? Do I want to have a kid and let Pierre raise him or her on his own after that?
"That's a big concern for us."
The couple have thought about adopting since 2010, but have shelved their plans due to time commitment and health reasons.
"We are very realistic and practical about it. We won't say, 'Let's not think about this issue' because there is a possibility that something might happen eight years later. So for now, our fur kids will do," said Png, referring to their three dogs.
However, the pair admitted that they do get envious when they see other parents with their children.
De Cruz revealed that they attended a friend's 40th birthday party over the weekend, where there were many children around.
She said: "It was so nice to see the fathers playing with their children, and I thought how nice it would be if Pierre has a kid.
"Whenever such thoughts hit me, I just have to try to let it go. But having kids has always been at the back of my mind."
So do they feel that not having any children is the key to their loving, long-lasting marriage?
Png disagreed, saying: "I have friends with children who have gone their separate ways and they blame it on the kids.
"I think it's just an excuse, kids are not the problem. It's a matter of managing your time well and spending enough time with the family."
The couple, who say that they seldom argue, reveal that the fights between them sometimes break out over the way De Cruz spoils their pets, which they affectionately speak of as if they were their own offspring.
Png said: "I am a traditional guy, so I believe in disciplinary action. I think children learn from the school of hard knocks and we need to teach them how to be respectful and have manners."
De Cruz added with a laugh: "I usually won't blame the kids. If the kids misbehave, I blame the parents for their teachings, as the kids are very young and they don't know anything. I guess I am more of a lax parent."
Statistics show that my body might reject the liver after 20 years. It's been 12 years now, so we have eight more years to go.
- Andrea De Cruz
Spicing things up 11 years on
Andrea De Cruz is not shy to admit that she is proactive when it comes to passion.
Although she has been married to Pierre Png for 11 years, she always finds ways to spice things up in the bedroom.
She said: "Sometimes, Pierre is very tired from work but he cannot sleep, so I will do some stuff to ease him into slumber. Some of the things I do are not suitable for print, but well, giving him a massage is one of them.
"We are also very spontaneous. We don't plan too much. If there is something we want to do, we will just do it. This keeps the marriage fresh."
According to Png, men are "very simple" and "want only a few things". .
He said: "I work long hours, so if the lights are down when I get home and I see that Andrea has waited for me, it gets me in the mood and I know I'm 'getting some'.
"Of course, knowing that she is safe, healthy and happy makes me happy."
Png also praised his wife for working out regularly to keep in shape and remain attractive.
"If the woman looks good and smells good, the husband will feel happy. It makes the husband proud when he can see his wife taking good care of herself."
De Cruz, who goes for personal training sessions twice a week, said: "Many women neglect themselves after they give birth and they end up being unappealing to their husbands.
"It's important to maintain and look good to reward the husband."
The couple also said they do not carry over conflicts to the next day.
De Cruz said: "The good thing about us is that if we are in the wrong, we will admit that we are.
"We will apologise first and not go to bed with a heavy heart. It has seemed to work well for us so far."
Png added: "And I never fail to remind her how much I love her every day."
High chance of survival
"A study from University of California Los Angeles published in Annals of Surgery 2010 reported that 293 patients underwent transplant at its centre and 56 per cent survived 20 years or longer.
"As such, many patients can live well beyond 20 years. One of the longest survivors of a liver transplant is living in the UK, 38 years after his transplant in 1975.
"Rejection can be treated by anti-rejection medication. Patients need continued medical follow-up to detect it. The new anti-rejection medications are very effective and can control rejection very well for many years.
"If the graft fails, the patient can be considered for another liver transplant. For a living donor, the issue is more ethical rather than medical. Many potential donors are available, but whether they are willing to give part of their liver and whether the approval is given differ from case to case."
- Dr Lee Kang Hoe, respiratory physician and intensivist of Asian American Liver Centre