While other young people are out partying all night, Derek Chang, 25, is sound asleep at home. Apart from avoiding late nights, the Taiwanese actor also subscribes to a healthy lifestyle.
Fans who have always wondered why Chang is so health conscious, found out when the actor released a series of books recently. In the books, there are some photos of Chang which showed a distinct scar along his abdomen.
It was then revealed that the 10cm-long scar was the result of a surgery he had to undergo three years ago in order to donate his liver to his father.
During an interview in Taiwan, Chang said: “Given another choice, I would have made the same decision. Even if you ask me 10 times over, my decision will still remain the same.”
The Taipei-born actor was only 22 when his father was diagnosed with liver cancer. When test results showed that he was a match, he decided to donate his liver to his father.
“If I didn’t do it, then my dad would have had only three months left. That is why I didn’t give it that much thought. So, I just nodded my head and agreed to it,” he explained further.
The surgery took 45% of his liver. His gallbladder was also removed.
To put things into perspective, here’s a brief explanation about the functions of the gallbladder and liver and their roles in the digestive system.
The liver produces bile which is stored in the gallbladder. Bile is a liquid which helps to digest fatty foods. Without the gallbladder acting as storage, the bile just flows directly into the intestines when it is produced by the liver. While the liver does make enough bile post-surgery, more than half the patients who have had their gallbladder removed still have trouble digesting fat.
So, those who have had surgery to remove their gallbladder or part of their liver, have to watch their diet very carefully.
What this means is that the young actor has to maintain a clean diet and lead a healthy lifestyle. According to Chang, he does his best to keep to a strict regime.
He is in bed before midnight and clocks in eight hours of sleep every night. He maintains a regular fitness regime. He avoids greasy fare, deep-fried dishes, salty food and sugary drinks. He drinks two litres of water everyday. He keeps his meals light and bland, and often vegetarian.
If his workload is too heavy, Chang says his body does protest. “I had to go shoot a drama in China less than a week after I was discharged from hospital. When filming extended till late at night, I felt like I was about to ascend to the heavens,” he remembered.
The dashing actor has starred in Taiwanese dramas such as Prince Of Wolf (2016), The Man From The Future (2017) and My Dear Boy (2017) as well as mainland Chinese dramas Stay With Me (2016) and Be With You (2017).