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The women who has undergone nearly 10 surgeries: “If I do not fall into burning charcoal, I will not be me of today.”
January 26 2019, 11:15 AM
Dao often laughs, at least compared to the time many years ago, when tears covered up her beauty. She believe that her story will change people's hearts.

“If I do not fall into charcoal, I will not be mine today,” Dao said. Dao no longer tried to hide his fake left arm, with shiny metal claws, or scarred scars that distorted her mouth. Dao is married and has 2 beautiful children, currently living in California with her husband. Every year, Dao and his family come to visit his homeland Binh Dinh.

Dao often laughs, at least compared to the time many years ago, when tears covered up some of her beauty. Digging into her story, her story will change people’s hearts, especially those with disabilities who are often “left aside” by society.

“If I don’t fall into charcoal, I won’t be mine today. I believe that everything that happens has a reason, ”Dao said.

The story of Dao, we think no one knows better and better understand Dao’s mother, Ms. Nguyen Thi Bich Hang. Each sentence, every word in her shared article proves the strong vitality of the daughter named Dao. Although he had to go through many previous hardships, Dao lived a life worth living and shining like a sunflower.

Dao with her children

With the consent of her adoptive mother, Nguyen Thi Bich Hang, we would like to share the whole story of Dao through her honest words.

 When I met Dao, she underwent 7 surgeries

I have a adopted daughter.

Even close friends know very little that I have a adopted daughter, simply because I have not raised Dao every day but Dao calls me mother – adoptive mother, and I’m happy for that.

I met Dao one day in the middle of 2008, I went to the office to meet me to register for a free face molar surgery with a team of Surgicorps from the US, a chance to meet when I sent this message to AIT Alumni VN. (AIT Alumni Association in Vietnam), a friend from France informs family members in Vietnam, is a friend of Dao, and then takes me to see me. I was stunned when I met Dao for the first time with a half-burned face and a hand that was no longer available, but she did not hesitate to face it but was very confident, always looking straight at me while talking. I asked Dao that in my heart was filled with pity.

Dao was born into a poor family with many children in Binh Dinh. Rural areas in Vietnam often have the custom of burning hot coal for mothers after birth, which they believe will be good for pregnant women and babies. Dao was also charred in that way.

When less than a month, my mother let me lie in a hammock underneath to burn a pot of charcoal, that day in just a moment my mother left me to go to the yard to get water, when I heard the sound of tearing inside my house. She could not imagine her youngest daughter, who was only 28 days old, never knew how to turn out of her hammock and lay on a potted pot like a metaphysical hand because there was no one in the house at the time. anyone

The child struggled in the coal, burned one side of his body, burned all his left and 1 fingers. She was taken to an emergency hospital, due to necrosis, so she had to cut her left arm near her elbow. Only after a period of treatment, the hospital also gave up and returned her home to wait for death. But I did not die, I kept shaking my death to live.

Dao photographed with her adoptive mother, Ms. Nguyen Thi Bich Hang.

Growing up with physical pain turned into scars all over his face and part of his body, his eyes and mouth cringed so much that he could not open his mouth, his arms could not stretch. But at the age of 7, I realized my difference through scornful eyes, teasing, ridicule of my friends. And so I lived in humiliation until I was 22 years old.


On that day, through the radio, I learned that there was a group of American doctors who came to Vietnam for free cleft lip and cleft palate surgery in Quy Nhon. I immediately set out despite the expiration of my registration. The team leader, surgeon, Dr. Frank Walchak and his wife, Carolyn, are a surgical nurse from Spokane (USA). Right from the first time I met Dao, my pleading gaze pleaded with their compassion and like two guardian gods, they realized their mission.


Frank knew that not only one surgery, Dao needed several surgeries to improve his face. Frank and his wife decided to find ways to bring him to America. After two years of trying to apply for a visa and doing procedures to prepare for Dao, the two kind and tolerant doctors brought her to the United States. 9 months with them and undergoing many painful surgeries, her face improved significantly. There she was always regarded as the youngest daughter in the family with two loving sisters. I learned English, learned to drive and ski even with only 1 hand. They love you and always treat you like a normal person. I’m shy because everything is so strange because this is the first time I stepped out of the village, not to mention going out of the border. These beautiful souls have gathered here to bring to life miracles. But anyway, it is the day when I have to go home and face my own life.

When I met Dao, she underwent 7 surgeries, her face improved even more but the scars were still tangled, her eyes and mouth were pulled apart. After returning from America, Dao was determined from Binh Dinh to Ho Chi Minh City to apply for a job, determined to learn more English and accounting in the evening. At that time my work was really difficult and harsh. Not only worrying about himself, Dao still had to sell lottery tickets at Bach Dang wharf, about VND 50,000 each night to send to his parents in the countryside.

Dao stand beside her  beloved family, with my husband and 2 lovely children.

Behind Dao’s flawed face is a kind heart

On the first morning when the Surgicorps team just landed in Vietnam, while waiting for the check in at the hotel, they had to check on Dao and some other patients, regardless of fatigue due to time difference and not eat. what to drink That afternoon, they started to work immediately, Dao was the case for blood tests that afternoon and they decided to have surgery the next day because they wanted to have 1 week of postoperative treatment for them before they returned home. .

In the evening, Dao called me in a very bewildered voice. In fact, it is very difficult for me to choose or lose my job or have surgery, but I need many more surgeries to improve my face. Every occasion like this is a golden opportunity for me. I just told you to ask permission and present it to the mistress.

“If you can’t do it and later, the mistress still chases you, call her, believe that she will help you.”

That year my company also registered for Toan, a male employee who was the head of the air ticket office, had surgery on one side of the nose, birth defects due to her mother’s flu during pregnancy. I visited them immediately after the surgery and gave gifts to all patients on that occasion. It was very touching to see American doctors in the post-operative room hold each child to comfort and give gifts to the children so they could not worry and suffer. Toàn said to me, “When I opened my eyes, the first person I saw was Dao. She is sitting by her side, making lemonade and waiting for me to wake up to let her drink, even though she has only had surgery before me not long “. The story I never forgot, I knew that behind Dao’s flawed face was a kind heart.

From a disadvantaged child, Dao rose to become a energetic woman.

A week later, Dao called me and cried, “You were fired, dear.” Without hesitation, I said, “As soon as you recover, go to the company to meet her,” even though I didn’t know what Dao could do at the time? Taking Dao into the company of course, because of my decision, no one stopped but seeing some employees’ eyes, I knew that Dao would not be easy to work here. But thankfully, Dao has Toan always protected and intimate since they both had surgery in the hospital.

Surprisingly, although she has not been educated, Dao is very smart and hardworking, regardless of what is handed over, the best accounting software, even the latest accounting software, I catch fast. Every day I still run my motorbike with one hand, do everything with one hand but it doesn’t make me shy regardless of anything. I quietly worked without complaining, when I found out that she was being forced and questioned, she said, “No problem, I just let myself solve it.” I also asked to call me mother from that day, I said “Because my mother gave birth to my second child”.

Your story can inspire and help people like you

On that occasion, Frank and Carolyn Walchak went to charity surgery in China to learn that Dao had a good job, and immediately flew to Vietnam to do one thing, thanking me. On that day, Mr. and Mrs. Dao invited me to share a room in the hotel and invited me to come and look at how our grandparents Dao Dao and introduce to everyone this is our daughter proudly without any confusion before the strange curiosity, I feel very touched. I told them, “The person who needs to be thankful today is the grandparents, from a distant country, who come here, love and bear a poor and disabled girl of mine, so I can’t be a Vietnamese cannot do that. It’s great that in my life I can meet such people.

I always tell stories about mental strength that will bring wonders to encourage and encourage Dao, that dream a happiness like others and never give up your dreams. I know Dao tried his best but not sure if he believed the stories I told him, he said that he never dared to dream of having a family like everyone else.

Dao and his husband are with two children, Michelle and Mitchell.

Then one summer day two years later, Dao timidly told me the story of a dentist in Mr. and Mrs. Walchak’s Rotaplast group, having met Dao for the first time when she was a little girl in the countryside. Binh Dinh poor. He has been there for a long time

Source: collect

Phuong Thao

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