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Vietnamese man cares for elderly friend abandoned by relatives

Thursday, January 03, 2019, 18:15 GMT+7
Vietnamese man cares for elderly friend abandoned by relatives
Cao Quoc Tri sits beside Tran Thi Thu, whom he has known since college, at his home in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Photo: Tuoi Tre

A Ho Chi Minh City man has taken an elderly friend he hasn’t heard from in several years into his home after receiving a call from the hospital saying she had no place to go.

Cao Quoc Tri was shocked when it was him who received a phone from the hospital stating that Tran Thi Thu, a poor senior citizen he had known several years prior, was going to be discharged after being treated for a stroke.

The 38-year-old man shard that during his time as a student he had lived in the same rental suite as Thu, 78, and has she helped get a job as a parking valet at the eatery where she worked for several years.

After Tri graduated and got married he still paid occasional visits to Thu and, at one point, invited her to stay in his house after she left her restaurant job.

Tran Thi Thu sits in Cao Quoc Tri’s house in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Tran Thi Thu sits in Cao Quoc Tri’s house in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Photo: Tuoi Tre

Though he heard she started working as a lottery ticket seller, Tri hadn’t heard from her in several years.

Just over half a month ago, Thu was found unconscious on the road and taken to the hospital, Tri said.

Many people who know her chipped in to pay her medical costs, which included payment for the nurse to care for her as she was bedridden and unable to control her bladder, according to Tri.

When asked how to reach relatives, Thu gave Tri’s phone number to the nurse.

He said he originally wanted to send the elderly woman to a support center for impoverished senior citizens but later decided to take her home while awaiting her relatives’ arrival.

As her bladder and urinary incontinence has persisted, Tri has hired a neighbor to take care during the day while he and his wife are at work.

Thu, a divorcee, said she has fended for herself since she split from her husband several years ago.  Her child grew up with her ex-husband.

She gifted all her savings to her son to help him buy a house and bring up his own children.

The son has not visited her since she stopped working at the eatery over three years ago to sell lottery tickets in Ho Chi Minh City.

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Thai Xuan / Tuoi Tre News

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