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'There was nothing I could do but pray'

Jacelyn Tay shocked by news of MediaCorp managing director of TV Bernard Lim's stroke

She calls him her angel.

So local actress Jacelyn Tay was devastated when she received the bad news on Sunday.

Her close friend, MediaCorp's managing director of television and LifeBrandz's non-executive director Bernard Lim, 45, had suffered a stroke the night before.

He was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at Tan Tock Seng Hospital early Sunday.

Tay has been friends with Mr Lim for 15 years and the initial shock from the news left her in tears.

Mr Lim had introduced Tay's husband, businessman Brian Wong, to her in 2008.

Tay, 38, told The New Paper: "Bernard's my angel, he is our (my husband and I) angel.

"We met only because of him.

"Bernard is someone who has also seen me through all the ups and downs in my life in these 15 years.

"On Sunday when we went to visit him, he woke up when we reached but he couldn't speak. We spoke to him.

"I know he's a very optimistic and positive person. I hope for his speedy recovery."

Tay said that on Sunday night when she visited Mr Lim, she and her husband were the only ones there as most of his friends and colleagues were attending Star Awards Show 1.

Yesterday, she was also at the hospital because Mr Lim had undergone surgery.

Said Tay: "There was nothing I could do but pray for Bernard.

"I was informed that the operation had a positive outcome and that the doctor took a much shorter time to perform the surgery than expected.

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At the hospital yesterday, Mr Lim's father, Mr Alex Lim, was relieved after hearing that his son's operation had gone well.

He said that his son is still sedated and has not spoken to anyone since he was warded.

Mr Lim, a retiree in his 70s, told TNP: "I was shocked and worried when I first heard but everything is fine now.

"You see us all smiling now, we were so scared that he was brain dead.

"I don't know why or how his stroke happened, he never suffered one before. He is a strong boy."

One of Mr Bernard Lim's best friends, who has known him for 10 years and declined to be named, said that his parents were shocked when they realised that he was having a stroke that night.

Mr Lim, who was previously married to an air stewardess, is their only child and lives with them.

Said his friend: "The stroke came on suddenly.

"Bernard was having a quiet night at home, it wasn't like he was partying. When it happened, his family realised he was struggling.

"I was shocked because Bernard's as fit as a bull."

"The doctors are trying to find out the cause of the stroke."

DJ Glenn Ong, 44, told TNP at the hospital yesterday: "Obviously we were shocked when we heard the news about his condition. But I am glad to hear he is recovering and doing well. He is healthy. He can easily run 10 klicks and can outrun me."

When contacted, MediaCorp confirmed that Mr Lim was admitted to hospital on Sunday but did not comment on who would take over his work duties in the interim.

Said the spokesman: "We thank the public and media for their concern and ask that they respect the privacy of Bernard's family, as they focus on his well-being and recovery."

A member of Mr Lim's church, who wanted only to be known as Ms Poon, said that he was supposed to perform his duties at the Church of St Bernadette at Zion Road on Sunday but did not turn up.

She said: "One of our friends had to take over. We found out later from other members of the church that he had a stroke.

"He is committed to the church. All of us are very shocked because he seemed perfectly healthy on Friday."

Mr Lim started as a radio DJ at Perfect 10 in 1992, eventually moving up to the position of general manager of English programming in 2003.

He joined entertainment group LifeBrandz in 2007. He stepped down as its chief executive officer last year before returning to MediaCorp.

Currently, he is its managing director for television, responsible for content and audience reach.

- Additional reporting by Shaffiq Alkhatib


You see us all smiling now, we were so scared that he was brain dead.

- Mr Alex Lim on his fear when his son, Bernard Lim, had a stroke on Saturday evening.