A few days ago the Hanoi National Hospital of Pediatrics admitted two young children, both of whom were in serious health condition: Lu Tra My, a 2-month old girl with a congenital heart defect; and 2 year old Tran Hai Quan, who has a large lymph node stretching from face to neck.
Tran Hai Quan and his mother., Photo: Tuoi Tre
Both patients had been brought to Hanoi from hospitals in Ho Chi Minh City on an emergency airlift fully covered by donations.
Tra My, weighing 3.5kg, and Tran Hai Quan, 9kg, have been under treatment at hospitals literally since their first appearance in the world.
Their moms are amazing women who truly exemplifies the courage and determination of a mother who would not accept to see her baby die without trying to save it.
My is now in the isolation ward after surgery on July 20, while Hai Quan has been brought back to his sickroom after three days in the same ward.
Dr Nguyen Thanh Liem, director of the Pediatrics hospital, said the little girl has temporarily overcome the most dangerous stage of her disease after the operation, but her situation should be very closely monitored.
Tra My’s condition is stable, but she is not out of danger.
Dr. Liem and his team also see a possibility in treating her cardiac disease.
They said the surgery for the disease is probably the most complex case among congenital heart problems and that it will be a landmark in the country’s medical history if it is treated successfully.
Tran Hai Quan has been constantly wheezing since he has trouble breathing due to the large size of his tumor. His head also looks larger than normal.
Yen, Quan’s mother, told Tuoi Tre that when she was 7-months pregnant, an ultrasound showed that the baby had a big facial tumor.
Someone advised her to abort it but doctors said the tumor was treatable. So, Yen decided to keep the baby.
When Yen was still in a coma after giving birth to her baby, the boy was sent to Ho Chi Minh City Hospital of Pediatrics II for emergency care.
Quan underwent his first operation when he was just 10 days old, and the second at 6-months old, but the tumor still grew uncontrollably.
It was not until the Lunar New Year of the Dragon that Quan went home for the first time. But one month later, he had to be admitted into hospital again. During this difficult time Yen and her husband busily ran a small eatery during the day to earn as much money as possible to pay for their son’s hospital fees and take care of the boy at night.
Quan is unable to eat by himself, while his parents have to carry him on their shoulders to help him easily breathe.
“The problem is how to remove the tumor while preserving the facial nerves to avoid paralysis. We have to wait at least three weeks to evaluate the results of Bleomycin before deciding to perform surgery or not,” said Dr Liem.
Living in the same sickroom with Quan is Tra My, who was transferred to HCMC Hospital of Pediatrics I when she was one month old for treatment of her serious single ventricle and coarctation heart case.
“Doctors at the hospital told us that our daughter’s congenital heart defect was very serious and she was likely to die during surgery. They advised us to bring her home after her pneumonia was treated. We were very worried about her that time,” Hanh, My’s mother, told Tuoi Tre.
Hanh called out to many other organizations, maybe 50 of them, in and outside Vietnam to help save her baby.
“On July 10, one day after Dr KM Cherian of Frontier Lifeline in Chennai India accepted to operate on Tra My free of charge, with Australia Children First Foundation helping to cover part of the transportation cost to India, an airline that we had selected declined to carry her for fear that there would be trouble during the transport,” Hanh said.
After that, she knocked on the door of Hanoi-based Humanitarian Services For Children of Vietnam, founded by Chuck De Vet, who later referred her daughter’s case to Sam-Ottawa, who runs a virtual medical miracle network in Canada with a big focus on helping patients in need.
Sam agreed to help and then contacted Dr. Nguyen Thanh Liem, who later agreed to receive Tra My.
VN-US VinaCapital Foundation; Canada VM2N; VN HCMC Family Medical Clinic run by Dr. Rafi Kot; US North Carolina Children Of Vietnam; US Minnesota Humanitarian Services For Children Of Vietnam; UK London Facing The World; Australia KOTO; Australia Children First Foundation; India Chennai Frontier Lifeline; US cardiologists/ interventionists :Dr Casey Culbertson and Dr John-Charles Loo.
Dr Culbertson has been on constant communication with NHP Prof Nguyen Thanh Liem to help out with Tra My surgery and monitoring her condition.
Source: Tuoi Tre
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