S’pore actor Duan Weiming's leg amputated after sending late mother off despite infection

The veteran actor has a history of diabetes.

Fiona Tan | September 19, 2022, 08:13 PM

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Singaporean actor Duan Weiming, 61, had to amputate his left leg after an infection became life threatening.

Singapore actor

Many may know Duan from the Channel 8 drama series "Neighbours" (芝麻绿豆) that spanned 510 episodes from 1986 to 1988.

Back then, he played the coffeeshop assistant Ah Cai.

When his contract came to an end in 1990, Duan moved through a variety of jobs before he finally settled on becoming a full-time butler.

However, he still does some acting on the side.

Some of his more recent performances saw him sharing the screen with Jeffrey Wright briefly in season three of the popular HBO sci-fi series "Westworld" in 2020, and in both seasons of the Channel 5 drama series "128 Circle".


Duan has been suffering from diabetes for several years, according to The Straits Times, which wrote that the actor had a health scare and almost had to amputate his right leg in June 2020.

Most recently in 2022, Chinese media Lianhe Zaobao reported that Duan had gotten into a road accident and sustained injuries on the lower part of his left leg.

However, the actor pushed through the pain while filming a show, only realising that he could no longer tolerate the pain after filming concluded.

"I've delayed treatment for a long time, and neglected my injury," he said. "I never expected diabetes to be this serious."

As his condition went on the decline, the pain in his left leg was so unbearable that after being admitted into the hospital in August, he contemplated amputating his leg, and had even arranged for an operation in September 2022.

Mother passed away

Unfortunately, Duan's mother passed away on the same day that he was admitted into the hospital.

He left the hospital and postponed his surgery to take care of his mother's funeral procession.

By the time he readmitted himself into the hospital, the doctor advised him that the amputation must not be delayed any longer to prevent the infection from spreading upwards to his thigh, Zaobao reported.

Duan went with his doctor's advice, and the surgery ended up saving his life.

On whether he will be acting again

He disclosed that he fell into deep despair for several days after the surgery.

This took Duan by surprise as he thought he would move past the loss of a limb within one to two days.

He said he managed to pick himself up with the help of his girlfriend, whom he has been dating for more than 10 years.

While he is currently out of the woods and in a relatively stable condition, he will have to be transferred into a nursing home to adjust to living without his lower left leg, before he starts his rehabilitation.

When Zaobao asked Duan whether he will be returning to the screen, he said he is choosing to focus on getting better currently, instead of what lies ahead in the future for him.

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Top image from Shin Min Daily News/Facebook and screenshot from zaobaosg/YouTube