A septuagenarian woman in the central Vietnamese province of Quang Binh has raised and taken care of her two disabled sons who are victims of Agent Orange (AO)/dioxin on her own for more than four decades.
Nguyen Van Hai, 44, and Nguyen Van Hien, 41, who are both victims of dioxin, have been in the loving care of their 73-year-old mother Tran Thi Dang, of Le Thuy District, in the last 44 years.
Their father, Nguyen Van Kien, was infected by Agent Orange during the American war in Vietnam and later died of the toxin.
Ever since her husband’s death, Dang has had to endure many levels of hardship to take care of her children, from waking up early in the morning and preparing their meals to staying up till midnight to look after them when they are sick.
The mother tries to work all types of jobs to earn a living, including tending cattle, growing beans, farming crops, cutting grass, and chopping woods among many others.
With a meager income of about VND1.2 million (US$53.6), Dang has to afford everything for Hai and Hien as well as for herself.
Though the war had ended a long time ago, Dang still struggles to find peace as she worries about what will happen to her sons after she passes away.
Tran Thi Dang prepares dinner for the family after she got back from work. Photo: Tuoi Tre
The mother helps clean her sons. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Tran Thi Dang and her two sons gather around for a simple meal. Photo: Tuoi Tre
The elderly woman carries a banana tree, which will later be used to feed her chickens. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Tran Thi Dang works as a cattle tender for her neighbors to earn a living. Photo: Tuoi Tre
She also clean grasses and grows beans for the locals with a daily income of VND100,000 ($4.47). Photo: Tuoi Tre
Nguyen Van Hai and Nguyen Van Hien look after their mother when she gets sick. Photo: Tuoi Tre