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To everyone whose child is in the same situation …

My wife and I have a 5-years-old daughter named Hoang Ngan, we just call Lily as her nickname.

Lily is my second child; I still remember it was a day with heavy rain and strong thunder when she was born in June the 26th of 1998 at the CanTho General Hospital. When knowing Lily was a girl, we felt absolutely joyful. Whimsically, this even did not mean all smiles and sunshine. Lily was very small and weak. Several days later, we had learned that Lily was a child with heart problems and mentally retarded syndrome. It was a great shock to us at the moment. We were not sure what would happen to her in her whole life, but anyway, our love to her is always strongest and deepest; we take care of her very carefully from a very tiny thing, although we have lived in difficult living condition; who does not in this lifetime, one way or another. I always encourage my wife and myself that we have to try our best to accept the situation. We started to read many medical books about mental retards and hearth diseases, asked counselors and friends for more information concerning our daughter's problems.

Her heart and other symptoms had to be checked up every month. There were two holes in her heart wall leading oxygen into blood was lack for the development of her brain and other body parts. As the result, her lungs were affected seriously that she could catch any other weather-involved diseases easily. On April 2003, Lily had admitted to Ho Chi Minh City Heart Institute to have her heart surgery. She was facing a major surgery that ten years earlier this surgery had been considered impossible in Vietnam's condition. All of our family members had palpitated for this challenge. My brothers and sisters in my family (Chi Lan, Quan, and Chi Minh) had been ready to give their blood to Lily. My older son, Tu would like to drop out his classes to be able to take care of his little sister, but I disagreed. My mother wept miserable when seeing her paternal grandchild in such a state. Luckily, the heart surgery was completed successfully and then Lily left the hospital after a month staying there.

I say Thank God all the time. I say thank you very much so many times to all the doctors and nurses who were in charge in my daughter's heart surgery, and thanks to all of my family members’ and friends’ support. Thanks so very much! I greatly appreciate it.

Lily's health situation is getting better and better up to now, after the heart operation, although she still goes see doctor periodic. Lily started school in the school year 2003-2004, at a special educational base for mentally retarded children. The school named “Future School” (Truong Tuong lai) for the future of many children with special need; this school is located in CanTho city. Every time seeing my daughter in the school uniform, I feel so ... indescribable but basically all the mix emotions mentioned on. Each of her physical or mental improvement, although slowly, is really each of our happiness. We recognized that our daughter loves us very much; we can feel her love every moment being with her. In fact, she is very happy when we play and talk with her, she always asks her mom to know where her father is, and when her father will be home, when I am not home. She always needs us indeed, and would never forget asking about her parents.

I know and understand that all parents would be in very deep sorrow if their children have had this kind of illness and/or congenital defect situation. It is normal to feel emotional and sorrow. We always try the best we could, and focus on the positive to live each and every day, day-by-day, month-by-month, and then year-by-year. We should learn how to change our perspective, and believe that children are our treasures, the very valuable gifts from God.

Best wishes to all disabled children and their parents.

Le Anh Tuan
June 2003

  Lily after surgeried.


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Last Updated Feb 23, 2005

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