Nguyen Linh Chi was born limbless 11 years ago.
She is now living with her loving parents in Yen Bai City, the heart of the northern namesake province.
Chi is a third-generation Agent Orange victim, inheriting dioxin from her paternal grandfather who fought in the American war in Vietnam.
Her own father and younger brother both suffer from blood allergy.
The U.S. sprayed the defoliant over large swathes of southern jungles during the war to flush out Vietnamese soldiers, and Vietnamese victims' groups have long blamed the toxic residue for deformities and diseases.
Besides causing ecological effects, the concentration of the toxin in soil and water is hundreds of times greater than the levels considered safe and can also create multiple health problems such as deformities, cancer, mental disabilities, serious skin diseases, cleft palates, and many genetic diseases.
The little girl kept asking her parents why her limbs are missing, but now she has gradually learned to accept being different from her peers.
After much excruciating, persevering practice, Chi can now write neatly by gripping the pen with her neck, chin, shoulders and little arm stubs.
Chi’s father managed to get his little daughter to see Nick Vujicic, her idol, in a moving meeting in Hanoi in May 2013 during the Australian limbless sensation’s visit to Vietnam.
The girl drew Vujicic with her neck, chin and shoulders and gifted him two paintings, in which she represented him as a rectangular torso like hers, at the meeting.
The difference between Chi and Vujicic was that her tiny arm stubs slowly grew each year, but the growth caused the stubs to ooze with pus and gave her excruciating pain and discomfort.
Below are a series of photos by Vu Van Long showing how Linh Chi overcomes her obstacles.
These photos were one of the entries to Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper's year-long competition themed “Vietnam – Country – People" concluding in October last year.
Limbless Nguyen Linh Chi
Chi (left) discusses her lesson with a classmate.
Chi’s mother helps her put on her school uniform.
Chi (left, front row) has fun singing with her classmates.
Chi (yellow shirt) and her classmates enjoy themselves during the break.
Chi can solve math problems as quickly as her classmates.