Surrey nurse Pauline Kong moonlights as a magician. (submitted photo)

Surrey nurse Pauline Kong moonlights as a magician. (submitted photo)

Moonlighting as magician, Surrey nurse raises funds for hospital ICU

Hospitalized as a girl, Pauline Kong aims to give back with ‘FATE 2’ benefit show

Life has come full-circle for Surrey nurse Pauline Kong.

As a girl, she fell seriously ill with a ruptured appendix, and landed in a local hospital’s intensive-care unit (ICU). She survived the ordeal, which made her want to become a nurse later in life – “to give back,” as she puts it.

Early this decade, while working in the ICU at Surrey Memorial Hospital, Kong discovered a love of performing magic, and brought that passion to work.

“Some patients are lonely and sad, and some don’t have people who come visit them,” Kong explained. “I went to the night market one night and saw a magician there, and I asked him to teach me magic, and I spent the next two years learning from him, so I could use some of those tricks for the patients, to brighten their mood.”

The tricks worked, said Kong, who then took her magic act to local stages, mostly for fundraising purposes.

(STORY CONTINUES BELOW)

On April 8, Kong is producing a Vegas-style event called “FATE 2: The Dance and Illusions of Oslen,” a benefit for the ICU department at the hospital where she works.

The goal is to raise $10,000 for the cause, and Kong said Monday that the show, which is set to play the 1,000-seat theatre at River Rock Casino Resort, is nearly sold-out. For event details, visit riverrock.com/event/fate-2-dance-illusions-oslen.

In a related effort, she launched a GoFundMe campaign, called “Magic Show for Surrey Hospital ICU,” with a goal of generating an additional $30,000. A video posted on the fundraising website dramatizes the time Kong landed in hospital as a six-year-old, and her memories of a nurse’s soothing, reassuring voice.

“Thankfully I survived and got better, however I was very weak, and suffered from self-esteem and confidence issues due to my (surgical) scar,” Kong says in the video. “To this day those memories remain very vivid to me. Because of this, every birthday I try to do something to give back to the community.”

(STORY CONTINUES BELOW)

The first “FATE” benefit event was held at a Burnaby theatre in 2014, when close to $10,000 was raised for BC Children’s Hospital, where Kong was admitted as a girl.

This time around, it’s Surrey Memorial Hospital’s turn to benefit.

For the April 8 show in Richmond, Kong’s Fate Production company has booked Oslen Chang, who has appeared on Canada’s Got Talent, and also Will Tsai, a contestant on America’s Got Talent.

Kong, who will also perform at the event, said she merely moonlights as a magician, and doesn’t treat it as a job. As a career, nursing is her priority.

“I know what the (ICU) feels like as a patient, and that’s how I started in nursing, to give back,” she said. “I got sick and survived and then got into nursing, and then I became a magician through nursing, so it’s all full circle.”

As a nurse, Kong said she often witnesses families struggle when their family members are in ICU.

“Often, all they wish for is one last chance to spend time with their critically ill family member doing something special,” Kong wrote on the Face Production website (fateproduction.com). “It could be one last memory with their elderly parents who raised them, or one special day before their child passes away in their arms. My team and I will try everything we can to grant them their wishes. However, the biggest obstacle to our commitment is the lack of funding. Government funding will only ensure that medical equipment and professional care are readily available, yet it is the community and donor support that can help make these ‘last wishes’ come true for the ICU patients and their families.

“In addition,” Kong continued, “I also want to dedicate this show to my mentor Oslen. His teachings in life, culinary, show production, and magic have helped me grow and shaped who I am today.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Surrey nurse Pauline Kong moonlights as a magician. (submitted photo)

Surrey nurse Pauline Kong moonlights as a magician. (submitted photo)

Just Posted

Items collected from last year’s Ocean Park Food Drive. (Contributed file photo)
Ocean Park Food Drive expands, open to residents south of 32 Avenue

Homeowners south of 32 Avenue and west of 160 Street encouraged to put donations on doorstep

(Black Press Media files)
‘Potentially damaging’ winds expected in Metro Vancouver

Wind is expected to pick up late Sunday night

Bella Coola RCMP are alerting residents that the road between 4 Mile subdivision and downtown will be closed until at least tomorrow. (File image)
Missing man found safe, Surrey RCMP said

Riley Arnold- Higgenbottom was last seen at 1:30 p.m., Nov. 28 in the 18900-block of 69 A Avenue

An animated Gordie Hogg introduces his 'Community Connections' videos. (YouTube screenshot)
Community Connections: Gordie Hogg speaks with Kathy McIntyre

Former mayor, MP began posting conversations on YouTube in June

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

A B.C. Ambulance Service paramedic wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 moves a stretcher outside an ambulance at Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, November 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Top doctor urges Canadians to limit gatherings as ‘deeply concerning’ outbreaks continue

Canada’s active cases currently stand at 63,835, compared to 53,907 a week prior

A Canadian Pacific freight train travels around Morant’s Curve near Lake Louise, Alta., on Monday, Dec. 1, 2014. A study looking at 646 wildlife deaths along the railway tracks in Banff and Yoho national parks in Alberta and British Columbia has found that train speed is one of the biggest factors. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Study finds train speed a top factor in wildlife deaths in Banff, Yoho national parks

Research concludes effective mitigation could address train speed and ability of wildlife to see trains

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A airport worker is pictured at Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C. Wednesday, March 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Canada extends COVID restrictions for non-U.S. travellers until Jan. 21 amid second wave

This ban is separate from the one restricting non-essential U.S. travel

Langley RCMP issued a $2,300 fine to the Riverside Calvary church in Langley in the 9600 block of 201 Street for holding an in-person service on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020, despite a provincial COVID-19 related ban (Dan Ferguson/Black Press Media)
Updated: Langley church fined for holding in-person Sunday service

Calvary church was fined $2,300 for defying provincial order

The Abbotsford Police Department is investigating a shooting on Adair Avenue on Saturday night. (Photo by Dale Klippenstein)
Drive-by shooting in Abbotsford targeted home with young children, police say

Investigators believe home was mistakenly targeted by assailants

Menno Place. (Google Street View image.)
B.C. care home looks to hire residents’ family members amid COVID-19-related staff shortage

Family would get paid as temporary workers, while having chance to see loved ones while wearing PPE

Most Read