Television and radio personality Jen Su recently attended London Fashion Week. She flew on British Airways Club World from from New York to London Heathrow Terminal 5.
Su’s been conspicuously absent from the red carpet in recent months as her 13 year old son Michael hasn’t been well; he was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia T-Cell.
She shares, “ He was studying in China and complained of headaches and ear pain, I took him to several ear doctors, they all said he was fine, but I just felt that he wasn’t. He looked pale, ashen, and developed a strange rash on his legs. I took him to the hospital and insisted that he get a blood test. And then the doctors delivered the bad news, in Chinese, that he had acute leukaemia. I was in total shock.”
After being stabilised, he was medically airlifted via International SOS to the United States, and rushed by ambulance from New York John F Kennedy Airport, to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
“I hadn’t slept for three days straight,” recalls Su. “But when we got to CHOP (Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia), I knew that he was going to be okay. They’re the top in the world and there are a lot of doctors in my family. We arranged for Michael to be pre-checked in and he was rushed straight to Emergency and then PICU (Paediatric Intensive Care Unit).
"The doctors told me to prepare myself, as he might not survive. But I told myself that we got him this far, and he was going to make it. I was alone and so scared, but I had to keep telling myself it was going to be alright.”
So when she received an invite to London Fashion Week, she had mixed feelings about it until she realised it might be what she needed.
She says, “With it being around the same time as Chinese New Year, my family were available to take care of Michael for a few days. And I really needed the break.”
“I used to fly 50 times a year, and this time, was the first time I’d flown in months. The flight on British Airways meant so much to me. I used to take travel for granted. This time, especially after Michael’s diagnosis, I really cherished every moment. I sipped on champagne, delved into a delicious fish, gave myself a mini-facial from The White Company spa moisturisers (launching on Joburg-London routes from the end of this month, and Cape Town-London routes from 7 March) and tucked into the new silky-soft linens and pillows — and I slept. And slept. And slept. It was the first time I could really sleep in months,” she says.
After landing, Su checked into the prestigious One Aldwych Hotel, and then headed straight to the shows.
Reflecting on her trip, she says, “The flight on British Airways Club World was the epitome of personalised service, comfort, relaxation, and convenience. Everything from the polite flight attendants, to the efficient service, to the quality and variety of food and drink available — was absolutely amazing. The flight attendants come through with a lovely cart with a full selection of appetisers and a beautiful selection of wines and champagne. The menu has a sumptuous variety of entree choices. I used the opportunity to catch up on a number of movies.”
She offers, “As my son’s health improves, I’m just taking it one day at a time. I’m grateful that I was able to take a few days in between to travel, and feel like myself again.”