July 31, 2010 - Meet Nhi...
Back in 2005, my brother, his wife, Mai and I visited Viet Nam and at that time we met a 2nd cousin that had a lazy eye. John (brother) thought that we should do something to help her. Our Middle School Youth Group sponsored her by sending $25.00 a month to her and wrote a few letters. When Mai and I were making plans to visit Viet Nam in 2008, we both made several contacts to have Nhi’s eye checked out. Mid week, Mai called one of the contacts and he said to schedule an appointment for the following Monday. Mai explained to him that on Monday we’ll be back in America, so he met with us the next day after his working hours. He also arranged for eye tests to be done with another Doctor after hours. Both Doctors refused payment. And about 1 week later, Nhi had her eye surgery. We were planning fundraising events to help pay for the surgery but it turned out that it wasn’t that expensive and we were able to cover it.
We have just returned from Viet Nam in June for a 2 week visit. During that time, we met with Nhi and her family and relatives. Like my first visit, Nhi would come up to me and talk and then laugh and laugh. Of course, Nhi and I can not understand each other through spoken words. We understand each other through our expressions. We took a walk (a large group of us) to her Aunt Ha’s house. And on the way, I felt a tiny hand reach for mine and Nhi held my hand for part of the way there, and of course, I had the biggest grin on my face. Thinking of how we’ve helped Nhi over the past years isn’t important, it’s how Nhi has changed our lives; that’s what is important.
About 2 weeks ago, we were told by her Uncle Lam and other relatives that Nhi has been having some problems with balance and also sickness in her stomach. Her local doctors have checked her out and said nothing is wrong with her. I guess someone suggested that she should see a Doctor in Ho Chi Minh City and about 1 week ago at Cho Ray Hospital she had an MRI done. The test results showed a large malignant tumor.
I can’t imagine how the family in Viet Nam feels as we are devastated over the news. Mai and I feel helpless especially being over 9,000 miles away from Royal Spring Child; which is what the last 3 words of her name translates to: Nguy?n Hoàng Xuân Nhi.
John (my brother) suggested that we look into ways of bringing her here but haven’t a clue on starting a major task as this or paying for it. I’ve contacted a few organizations for help or a direction and have received some replies from Lions Clubs International Second Vice President Wayne Madden and Past International Director Vuthi Boonnikornvaravith and Jessica Riester of Children’s Brain Tumor Foundation. The prayer response from forums, facebook and friends have been overwhelming.
In these 2 weeks time, Nhi as become less than herself. First she was the talkative giggly little girl we are use to, now she doesn’t hardly talk, no laughter and cries. She told her mother that she wanted to live with her forever and asked another Aunt not to leave her side. Nhi (age 7) had her first surgery on July 30, 2010 to remove water from her brain and is doing well.
If you would like to help either with funding, prayers, Hospital circling, contacts at Cho Ray Hospital in Viet Nam or any other way you see fit; it will be greatly appreciated.
I don’t want the photo of Nhi waving to me to be the last wave.