A Vietnamese woman hailing from Hanoi, who was a victim of human trafficking, has finally been reunited with her family after spending the past 24 years in China with memory loss.
The miracle happened thanks to the great support from medical workers at Lang Son General Hospital in the namesake northern Vietnamese province.
T.T.H. was transferred from a centralized facility for COVID-19 quarantine in Lang Son to the hospital with symptoms of psychosis on December 8.
Earlier, authorities in China repatriated H. to the Vietnamese province as an illegal resident after a raid in a COVID-19 prevention and control campaign.
During her stay at Lang Son General Hospital, H. was shy and often talked nonsense, according to chief nurse Luu Hai Chau at the hospital’s Department of Infectious Diseases.
“As she did not remember her name and address, it was difficult to communicate with her to collect more information,” Chau said.
“Every day, nurses in the isolation ward took turns bringing foods to her bed. We also observed her habits and preferences in order to take care of and be closer to her,” the chief nurse added.
H. became more open with the nurses after ten days of treatment but that also meant the required treatment period of 14 days for H. was nearing an end.
Therefore, the nurses turned worried that they would fail to help her find her family and the strayed woman would be homeless again.
Fortunately, H. was able to write out some locations, though not clear, when nurse Luong Thi Minh tried to fish for information by giving H. a paper and a pen during one of her night shifts.
Minh then looked for those locations on the Internet and found a village in Hanoi with places similar to what H. wrote.
With assistance from the local authorities, Minh managed to contact with H.’s older brother and sister, leading to the patient’s reunion with her family.
Victim of human trafficking
In 1991, H. was tricked by a friend living near her house into being trafficked to China.
Her family’s efforts to find H., with her older brother even going to the neighboring country, fetched no results.
In 1996, H. returned home to everyone’s surprise. She said that she had been sold to a man in China and given birth to two children with him.
As H. missed her children, she left her family for China only two weeks later.
H.’s family never heard from her since.
One day after H.’s older brother and sister received her photos from nurse Minh, they arrived at Lang Son General Hospital to pick up their long-lost sister.
Upon the reunion with her siblings, her memory improved and she was able to remember her parents’ names. But she still failed to recall her time in China, according to Minh.
“When the older brother and sister met her, who has been away for 24 years, the three of them kept hugging each other and crying,” Minh said.
“We hope that after H. returns to her family, she will be of sound mind and healthy,” the nurse added.