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Vietnamese ‘wonder woman’ saves ill children from death

Thursday, April 25, 2019, 13:41 GMT+7
Vietnamese ‘wonder woman’ saves ill children from death
Nguyen Thi Thao Huong visits Dinh Trung Kien’s family in her latest trip back to Vietnam. Photo: K.Anh / Tuoi Tre

Over 200 children born with fatal diseases in Vietnam have been sent to Singapore for special treatment thanks to a charity fund founded by an overseas Vietnamese.

Nguyen Thi Thao Huong, also known as Lisa Nguyen, is a Vietnamese woman currently living in Singapore, where she has spent the last three years dedicating her time and money to her Children Are Innocent campaign – a fund which helps support medical treatment for sick children born into poor families.

Before moving to Singapore, Huong took part in many charity events and activities to help people, especially impoverished children. 

But even after she left Vietnam, she knew she still needed to find a way to give back to her country.

“I can’t hold back tears when I see those pure little children’s eyes suffering from the pain, so I do my best to help them get the treatment they deserve,” she said, explaining her motivation for founding Children Are Innocent.

Huong, with the help of her friends, founded the fund in 2016 and has since raised VND70 billion (over US$3 million) from donors around the world.

Two-year-old Dinh Trung Kien is just one of dozens of needy children who have been saved by the fund.

Kien, from the north-central province Ha Tinh, was born with hydrocephalus, a physical illness with symptoms that include a rapid increase in the baby’s head size as well as vomiting and sleepiness. 

Knowing that Kien’s situation was grave, his family spent months seeking out sponsors to help support his treatment, but they kept coming up empty-handed. 

However, they met Huong.

When Huong heard about Kien, she immediately called for financial support from kind-hearted philanthropists to help move Kien to Singapore for special treatment. 

She even handled all the administrative procedures, accommodation for Kien’s family, and interpretation at the hospital.

Kien’s mother, Bui Thi Luyen, was shy in showing her gratitude toward Huong for the mental and financial support she had given the family.

“Words cannot describe my feelings right now,” the mother said in tears.

“She is definitely a real life wonder woman.”

Hoai Thuong, a ten-month old from the north-central province of Nghe An, is another child saved by Huong. 

Thuong was diagnosed with both hydrocephalus and gastro-intestinal infection in 2018.

At that time, Huong continuously put out a call for help on social media to raise money from people from all over the world to help Thuong. 

Her efforts culminated in over VND9 billion (approximately $391,000) raised to support the baby girl’s medical treatment.

“Despite Thuong’s severe condition and little chance of survival, we still tried our best to fight for her life, no matter what it took,” she said.

After a seven-month treatment at specialized medical facilities in Singapore, Thuong finally recovered and returned to Vietnam.

Thu Ha, Thuong’s mother, shared that during the time her daughter was being treated in the hospital, Huong took care of everything for both of them and always assured her to stay strong.

“Until now it is still hard to believe that we actually got such a large amount of money for Hoai Thuong’s treatment,” the mother said.

“I couldn’t imagine how I would be without Huong’s support.”

Huong’s generosity and kindness have earned her a reputation as a “real life angel” sent to spread miracles for poor children across Vietnam.

“I cry with tears of joy seeing children with illnesses get treated and grow up healthily,” she said.

“As a mother, my happiness depends on each child’s bright future.”

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