WHILE battling her personal demons, Coco Lee has also struggled with her physical health throughout her life.
In her final social media post before her tragic death, she told fans she’s been dealing with “life-changing hurdles” over the past year.
The acclaimed singer-songwriter, 48, sadly passed away on Wednesday after attempting suicide, her sisters said.
Her older siblings, Carol and Nancy Lee, were said to be the “demon within”. [Coco] “She overpowered her,” she said in a statement announcing the sad news.
They explained that the Chinese-American star has been suffering from depression for a number of years, but that her condition has “deteriorated drastically” in recent months.
Coco had sought professional help and “did her best to fight her mental health issues,” but unfortunately couldn’t continue.
In her last Instagram update, which she shared on New Year’s Eve, she had described the last year of her life as “incredibly difficult”.
She called herself the “Warrior” and wanted to inspire her fans with her story of overcoming adversity and her health struggles.
She wrote, “Life seemed unbearable at times, but I’ve adopted the attitude of a ‘warrior’ to face them head-on, fearless, but always with the widest smile and the big laugh!”
“Strength, courage and bravery are in all of us, so use them.”
The singer, best known for the song “Reflection” for Disney’s “Mulan,” said she’s “grateful every day to be alive.”
Coco added: “I’m a female warrior babe! Just like the Great Wall of China, I will never fall. If I can overcome something, so can you!”
“You are not alone, no matter how hard life gets, I am with you.”
Behind her brave words, the actress was struggling with excruciating pain stemming from ongoing issues with her lower body.
She was born with a defect in her left leg and underwent surgery at the age of two, which was unsuccessful.
Coco suffered from lifelong problems with her leg and was forced to rely heavily on her right leg to support her body.
Though her incredible stage presence masked her suffering, the 48-year-old struggled with issues stemming from the defect.
Her problems worsened in October last year when her injury flared up after Coco strained during a dance rehearsal.
She was then forced to undergo major surgery, which reportedly took place in Februaryin Hong Kong.
During the two-hour operation, surgeons operated on her pelvis and thigh, so she had to learn to walk again.
Coco first revealed the extent of her health struggles to fans in March, when she shared a clip of herself before and after.
The Hong Kong icon – who released her latest single “Tragic” on February 14 – described the process as “successful” in an online post.
She wrote on social media: “Successful surgery. Even though I’m in a lot of pain and have to relearn how to walk, I know I can do it.”
“Yes, I can and I will. Thank you all.”
In the video, Coco could be seen preparing for the surgery while telling herself in the mirror, “Come on. I can do it.”
She then gave fans a glimpse of the grueling recovery she faced as she walked slowly with a walker while a nurse guarded her side.
The clip also featured a heartwarming moment as she was greeted by loved ones with a giant “Welcome Home” teddy bear.
She was also shown to be making progress when, within 12 days, she was teaching herself to walk again using a walker.
Then Coco walked up to the camera, clenched her fist in defiance and said, “Warrior baby! Warrior.”
Her sister Nancy said she is expected to take a break throughout 2023 as it will take her at least six months to recover.
Tragically, news of her comeback never came and her family instead announced that Coco sadly passed away after her mental and physical struggle.
Her sisters said in a statement: “It is with great sadness that we bring the most devastating news here: CoCo has been suffering from depression for a number of years, but her condition has deteriorated drastically in recent months.”
“Unfortunately, although CoCo sought professional help and did her best to fight the depression, the demon in her took over.”
Coco’s family said she attempted suicide at her home on Sunday before being rushed to hospital.
“Your light will last forever”
“Despite the best efforts of the hospital team to rescue her from her coma and treat her, she finally passed away on July 5, 2023,” the statement continued.
Coco is survived by her husband, Bruce Rockowitz, and two adult stepchildren.
She married the Canadian businessman in 2011 and revealed they had undergone artificial insemination with hopes of having a child in 2018.
She is best known for her performance in the 2000 Academy Award-winning and Golden Globe-winning film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, in which she sang “A Love Before Time.”
Her sisters said this year marks the 30th anniversary of Coco’s singing career, underscoring her “countless international recognition” with best-selling songs.
They said she made an “amazing impression of her excellent live performances” on fans.
The statement added, “Coco has also been known to work tirelessly to open up a new world for Chinese singers on the international music scene, and she has done everything she can to shine for the Chinese.”
“We are proud of them!
“Though Coco won’t be around long, her rays of light will last forever!”
Coco sold tens of millions of Chinese and English albums after her singing in “Mulan” brought her international acclaim.
You’re not alone
A life is lost to suicide in the UK EVERY 90 minutes.
It does not discriminate and touches the lives of people in all sectors of society – from the homeless and unemployed to construction workers and doctors to reality stars and footballers.
It is the leading cause of death in people under the age of 35, more deadly than cancer and car accidents.
And men are three times more likely to commit suicide than women.
Yet it is rarely talked about, a taboo that threatens to continue its deadly rampage unless we all stop now and take notice.
That’s why The Sun created the You’re Not Alone campaign.
The goal is that we can all do our part to save lives by sharing practical advice, raising awareness and breaking down the barriers people face when talking about their mental health.
Let’s all pledge to ask for help when we need it and to listen to others… You are not alone.
If you or someone you know needs help coping with mental health issues, the following organizations offer support:
- QUIET, www.thecalmzone.net0800 585 858
- heads together, www.headstogether.org.uk
- Spirit, www.mind.org.uk0300 123 3393
- Papyrus, www.papyrus-uk.org0800 068 41 41
- Samaritan, www.samaritans.org116 123
- movember, www.uk.movember.com
- fear Britain www.anxietyuk.org.uk03444 775 774 Monday-Friday 9.30am-10pm, Saturday/Sunday 10am-8pm