A Vietnamese student from a disadvantaged family background was admitted to a highly selective college but the happy news came after her disease-suffering mother died.
Le Hoang Bao Thien hurriedly traveled back to her hometown in the south-central Vietnamese province of Ninh Thuan to visit her critically ill mother while the 18-year-old was doing manual work in an area around 390 kilometers away.
The mother died before Thien began entering the University of Medicine and Pharmacy at Ho Chi Minh City, one of Vietnam’s leading medical schools.
“It’s a pity that Mom is gone and I won’t have a chance to give her medical treatment. If only she were alive to see my college admission,” Thien said.
The student embarked on making money after finishing the college entrance exam in late June and while awaiting test results.
Thien wanted to work at coffee shops in sun-cursed Ninh Thuan but her mother disagreed, and the daughter moved to Binh Duong, a neighbor of Ho Chi Minh City with more job opportunities, to work for a furniture firm.
Just two weeks after she started work, Thien received bad news that her frail mother, who lived with kidney failure for eight years and had renal dialysis three or four times a week, had been hospitalized in a critical condition.
The daughter hastily left the company without the employer’s permission to catch a bus back to Ninh Thuan.
Thien developed a love for technical study at a young age but a few years ago decided to pursue a medical career out of the desire to treat her mother’s disease.
Her father said their family was nearly penniless and owes neighbors a large debt, but the man would manage to borrow money to give her education.
Thien said she would do part-time jobs while studying for nearly eight years in Ho Chi Minh City and try to find employment right upon graduation so that her father can have a more comfortable life after spending years laboring for the family.
On a Facebook post, Thien wrote appreciatively of her late mother.
“Do you know this? My younger sister and I are really happy to be your daughters.
“Mom, you loved me very much and didn’t want me to work in Binh Duong. But I wanted to buy you something with the very money I earned.”