“Hello, Doctor!” The little girl cheerfully greeted the doctor as soon as she saw him enter. The doctor smiled warmly at her. He was happy to see that she can walk around the room, although she still had a limp and one of her legs was still bandaged. Soon she would be able to run freely on her own feet and play with her friends.
The little girl’s name is Pham Gia Han. She is a four-year-old patient recovering well following a surgery to correct a congenital vascular anomaly in her left leg, which she underwent at FV Hospital on July 3, 2018.
Seeing her moving around now, it’s almost impossible to imagine her lack of mobility prior to receiving the much needed operation. Her mother shared with FV staff how Gia Han was born with a bruise on her left leg, which gradually swelled, making the girth of her leg much bigger. While other youngsters her age learned how to walk, Gia Han could only crawl and shuffle. By the time she attended kindergarten, her left leg made moving a real struggle and Gia Han found it hard to perform ordinary tasks, such as visting the bathroom by herself. Little Gia Han was very embarrassed, unable to do anything but cry while her classmates stared at and made fun of her.
For a bright, energetic girl like Gia Han, living with this mobility problem was torture. Her parents felt very sorry for her and took her to several hospitals in the hope of finding treatment. However, only a few hospitals were able to offer the procedure Gia Han needed, but at a cost of up to tens of millions of Vietnam dong – an amount of money Gia Han’s family did not have and would take many years to save.
Gia Han’s family scrimped and saved to come up with the money while taking her to various places to figure out which would be her best option for treatment. In March, 2018, Gia Han was examined and diagnosed at the Vascular Surgery Department at the FV Hospital where doctors said she would need several surgeries to ensure the best outcome.
Dr Luong Ngoc Trung led Gia Han’s first surgery, using the technique of intravascular intervention and intravenous injection to successfully mimise further damage, preserve her muscles and nerves and avoid scarring. However, Gia Han’s family could not afford to proceed with the next surgery, scheduled for July 2018, despite the fact her illness required immediate treatment to avoid severe deformities and futher complications.
Understanding her circumstances, Dr Luong Ngoc Trung introduced Gia Han’s family to the Children of Vietnam Fund – a charitable foundation founded by FV Hospital and Thanh Nien News in 2006 to support treatment for underprivileged children with diseases and disabilities.
After looking into her family background and medical history, the Fund agreed to sponsor 100 percent of her treatment for this surgery. The treatment method remained the same as the first surgery: to correct the vascular anomaly while minimising fibrosis (scarring) of blood vessels, muscles and skin, avoiding the neurological complications of open surgery and ensuring the best possible function and aesthetics of the limb. After several hours, the surgery ended in success. Dr Luong Ngoc Trung carefully bandaged her wound so that it would heal quickly.
Gia Han will turn five years old this September, and she will be able to celebrate her birthday with her family and friends by standing and dancing unassisted. Dr Luong Ngoc Trung says seeing Gia Han’s radiant smile overwhelmed him with happiness, as he knows she is on the road to recovery and to living a normal life like many other children who have received help from the Fund.
The Children for Vietnam Fund continues to support Vietnamese children under 16 years from difficult circumstances living with disease or disability.
For more information, please contact:
The Children for Vietnam Charitable Fund
Address: No. 6 Nguyen Luong Bang Road, Tan Phu Ward, District 7, Ho Chi Minh City
Hotline: 090 906 7718
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