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A life full of smile of Vietnamese girl with no arms or legs

A life full of smile of Vietnamese girl with no arms or legs

Wednesday, August 26, 2015, 08:36 GMT+7

Nguyen Hoai Thuong is a seven-year-old child who was born without arms and legs due to Agent Orange exposure. Despite her unfortunate circumstances, Thuong still smiles as a way to keep her hopes up.

Hoai Thuong, who also has the affectionate nickname of “penguin,” lives in the outlying district of Cu Chi in Ho Chi Minh City, one of Vietnam’s most well-known sites with links to many historical events during the war.

She was born without arms and legs as a consequence of Agent Orange, one of the herbicides and defoliants used by the U.S. military as part of its herbicidal warfare program during the Vietnam War from 1961 to 1971.

Her parents, workers living in a wooden house, said they struggle to make a living, especially after the birth of Thuong as their second child.

Tran Thi Cam Giang, the mother, initially cried and even thought about committing suicide with her daughter after seeing Thuong’s disabled body.

With a small amount of money from selling lottery tickets every day, Giang takes the bus to bring Thuong to a physiotherapy center in District 3, tens of kilometers away from Cu Chi, hoping to cure her daughter.

At the age of four, Thuong can manage almost every basic need in her life, including eating, brushing her teeth, getting dressed and arranging her books and things.

This year, Thuong enters second grade. The little girl uses a fake hand to help her write and use a calculator. She also has a small four-wheeled table which helps her move around.

However, Thuong still hopes that she can walk with her legs some day.

This summer, Legacies Project, a not-for-profit organization run by Susan Hammond, has provided financial support to give Thuong prosthetic legs. The mother and daughter had to go to Hanoi to find the prosthetic legs and helped Thuong learn how to use them.

After over one month of training, Thuong can walk for five or six steps. The doctor said her legs are bent and need an operation.

“We are running out of money. I stop selling lottery tickets to take Thuong to school and only sell jackfruit to make a little money,” Giang said.

JE4yrMDe.jpgThis year, Thuong enters second grade. The small girl uses a fake hand to help with writing and using a calculator. Being able to go to school is her great happiness. Photo: Tuoi Tre.

rVuK7zX7.jpgThuong often plays with her prosthetic legs during break time. Photo: Tuoi Tre.

m0QZHHuQ.jpgThe small girl is seen sitting on a chair in class. Photo: Tuoi Tre.

wEpOyHCQ.jpgTran Thi Cam Giang, Thuong’s mother, teaches her to walk. The seven-year-old girl has to follow a strict timetable every day, in which she goes to school in the morning, learns to walk from 2:00 pm to 4:30 pm, and studies in the evening. Photo: Tuoi Tre.

chjUKh1p.jpgThuong is seen chitchatting with her friends during break time at school. Photo: Tuoi Tre.

U83tX3j5.jpgNguyen Hoai Thuong has to exert a lot of effort in class due to her disability. Photo: Tuoi Tre.

ZGKneND8.jpgThe process of fitting the prosthetic legs is often painful. Photo: Tuoi Tre.

brklFe5U.jpgThe girl often wins other people’ affection thanks to her loveliness. Photo: Tuoi Tre.

92mL6uME.jpgThuong is seen using Google to search homemade ice cream recipes. Photo: Tuoi Tre.

8Z7NVWIT.jpgThe little “penguin” often plays and even talks to the small bird at her home. Photo: Tuoi Tre.

GAUnT4fp.jpgThuong is the one who ladles rice during her family’s meals. Photo: Tuoi Tre.

cwNv8HAQ.jpgNguyen Hoai Thuong smiles happily with her friends after school. Having many friends is such an amazing thing. Photo: Tuoi Tre.

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