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In Vietnam, man spends 17 Tet holidays in hospital due to kidney treatment

In Vietnam, man spends 17 Tet holidays in hospital due to kidney treatment

Friday, February 12, 2021, 15:00 GMT+7
In Vietnam, man spends 17 Tet holidays in hospital due to kidney treatment
Nguyen Ngoc Em is pictured in his wheelchair amid the flower street at Cho Ray Hospital in District 5, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Duyen Phan / Tuoi Tre

For almost two decades, a 44-year-old man hailing from Dong Thap Province, located in the Mekong Delta region of Vietnam, has never enjoyed a Lunar New Year holiday at home with his family, but in the hospital, due to his kidney illness.

The 2021 Lunar New Year, or Tet, is another festival that Nguyen Ngoc Em, with his body weakened and disabled by his kidney disease over time, has nobody but a wheelchair by his side.

Em is unmarried and has been an inpatient at Cho Ray Hospital in District 5, Ho Chi Minh City for 17 years.

He has to undergo kidney dialysis thrice a week.

For the rest of the week, Em moves his wheelchair around the hospital to sell lottery tickets to earn a living and pay for his hospital fees.

Regarding his health and financial conditions, returning to his hometown in Dong Thap for Tet celebration is a luxury.

Nguyen Ngoc Em smiles as he talks to Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper at Cho Ray Hospital in District 5, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Hoang Loc / Tuoi Tre

Nguyen Ngoc Em smiles as he talks to Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper at Cho Ray Hospital in District 5, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Hoang Loc / Tuoi Tre

Nguyen Ngoc Em sells lottery tickets to a customer at Cho Ray Hospital in District 5, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Duyen Phan / Tuoi Tre

Nguyen Ngoc Em sells lottery tickets to a customer at Cho Ray Hospital in District 5, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Duyen Phan / Tuoi Tre

“For many years, I have never thought of returning to my hometown, but had Tet alone in the hospital,” Em said.

But it does not mean that Em is unable to find happiness in his situation.

“It's sad, but I already got used to it,” he added.

For Em, happiness is as simple as that he still can feel healthy enough to go for a ‘sightseeing trip’ around the flower street, which is specially set up for inpatients, at the hospital during this Lunar New Year festival. 

The man also feels blessed to be able to spend his every day with the sick people in the same situation and doing the same lottery job.

A staff member talks to Nguyen Ngoc Em at Cho Ray Hospital in District 5, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Duyen Phan / Tuoi Tre

A staff member talks to Nguyen Ngoc Em at Cho Ray Hospital in District 5, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Duyen Phan / Tuoi Tre

Nguyen Ngoc Em has a right finger amputated due to his kidney illness. Photo: Duyen Phan / Tuoi Tre

Nguyen Ngoc Em has a right finger amputated due to his kidney illness. Photo: Duyen Phan / Tuoi Tre

Nguyen Ngoc Em is pictured at Cho Ray Hospital in District 5, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Duyen Phan / Tuoi Tre

Nguyen Ngoc Em is pictured at Cho Ray Hospital in District 5, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Duyen Phan / Tuoi Tre

Nguyen Ngoc Em moves his wheelchair along a corridor at Cho Ray Hospital in District 5, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Duyen Phan / Tuoi Tre

Nguyen Ngoc Em moves his wheelchair along a corridor at Cho Ray Hospital in District 5, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Duyen Phan / Tuoi Tre

Nguyen Ngoc Em lies on his bed placed by the corridor at Cho Ray Hospital in District 5, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Duyen Phan / Tuoi Tre

Nguyen Ngoc Em lies on his bed placed by the corridor at Cho Ray Hospital in District 5, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Duyen Phan / Tuoi Tre

A nurse tends to Nguyen Ngoc Em at his bed in Cho Ray Hospital in District 5, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Duyen Phan / Tuoi Tre

A nurse tends to Nguyen Ngoc Em at his bed in Cho Ray Hospital in District 5, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Duyen Phan / Tuoi Tre

A woman gifts a can of milk powder to Nguyen Ngoc Em at Cho Ray Hospital in District 5, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Hoang Loc / Tuoi Tre

A woman gifts a can of milk powder to Nguyen Ngoc Em at Cho Ray Hospital in District 5, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Hoang Loc / Tuoi Tre

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