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Limbless Vietnamese girl, 12, helps younger peer to live with optimism

Saturday, September 07, 2019, 19:00 GMT+7
Limbless Vietnamese girl, 12, helps younger peer to live with optimism
Hoai Thuong (left) gives Hieu Thao two adorable rabbits as her birthday present in this photo taken in Soc Trang, southern Vietnam. Photo: Tu Trung

Two young Vietnamese girls born with severe disabilities have become close friends since the day they first met, as they realize they have many things in common other than just their physically-challenged condition.

Nguyen Hoai Thuong, 12, and nine-year-old Tran Thi Hieu Thao are both victims of Agent Orange, a herbicide and defoliant chemical used by the U.S. military during the war in Vietnam.

Thuong, a Ho Chi Minh City resident, has no arms and right leg, while Thao, hailing from the Mekong Delta province of Soc Trang, does not have any functional limbs at all.

However, Thuong still chose to look on the bright side, enjoyed her life to the fullest and even supported her little friend of the same plight Thao to live in happiness and independence instead of fear about discrimination.

Hoai Thuong (left) teaches Hieu Thao to write by pens in this photo taken in Soc Trang, southern Vietnam. Photo: Tu Trung / Tuoi Tre
Hoai Thuong (left) teaches Hieu Thao to write by pens in this photo taken in Soc Trang, southern Vietnam. Photo: Tu Trung / Tuoi Tre

The two girls met each other a few months ago and have kept in touch regularly ever since.

Thuong would contact Thao at least once a day to ask about her daily life and give the little girl mental support as the nine-year-old didn’t received proper care from her parent like she did.

Thuong got a chance to visit and attend Thao’s birthday party last weekend and they spent a wonderful time learning to use the special wheelchair made by Thuong’s father and petting lovely rabbits as a birthday present to the younger girl.

Both had no difficulty feeding themselves thanks to Thuong’s clever hacks to use utensils.

Thuong and Thao smile for a photo on special wheelchairs made by Thuong’s father. Photo: Tu Trung / Tuoi Tre
Thuong and Thao smile for a photo on special wheelchairs made by Thuong’s father. Photo: Tu Trung / Tuoi Tre

“I’m looking forward to seeing Thao again as I still have so many things to guide her,” Thuong said.

In the meantime, Thao said she had never got to hold such a big birthday party before.

“I was so happy that Thuong could make it to attend it,” Thao recalled the happiest moment of her life.

Thuong and Thao not only share the same loss but also the same beautiful dream of becoming doctors despite their inability to use hands properly.

Their thought received doubts from many people since doctor wasn’t a possible choice for the disabled, but they still keep on dreaming and waiting for the day that dream would come true.

“I will try my best to pursue my dream no matter how hard it is,” Thuong said with great determination.

The two girls open Thao’s birthday presents in excitement. Photo: Tu Trung / Tuoi Tre
The two girls open Thao’s birthday presents in excitement. Photo: Tu Trung / Tuoi Tre

Tran Thi Cam Giang, Thuong’s mother, spent the past ten years trying to help her daughter live a normal life like other children and also planned to guide Thao via the Internet to become more independent like Thuong.

“I feel like Thao needed my help since she still depended on her grandmother, which may possibly lead to life limitations in the future,” she shared about her decision to help Thao.

Thanks to mental support from family members and other people, the two girls still kept moving forward with their lives and held hands to reach for a better future, despite their disabilities.

Hieu Thao (middle) and Hoai Thuong (on her left) smile happily in Thao’s birthday party. Photo: Tu Trung / Tuoi Tre
Hieu Thao (middle) and Hoai Thuong (on her left) smile happily in Thao’s birthday party. Photo: Tu Trung / Tuoi Tre

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