The happiness of Kim Thuy’s family after being refused surgery twice
Mr. Hung’s daughter from Tien Giang had a cleft lip on one side. He works as a carpenter, and his wife runs a small, simple coffee shop. His family had to endure a lot to survive during the Covid epidemic. Luckily, a cousin introduced Operation Smile and registered Kim Thuy, their tiny 1-year-old daughter. The day the couple received a phone call for a medical appointment, they cried tears of joy. But soon after their happiness is followed by the worry about the money to cover the cost of their child’s lip treatment, forcing them to pawn their motorbike – the most valuable tool to make a living.
“Why you have to pawn your motorbike while this surgery is totally free?”
He laughed and shook his head: “Oh my god, to come up here for free surgery, I also have to prepare money to spend in Saigon. But I don’t have money to buy a bus ticket to get here, and money to eat and stay for a few days. So I pawned the motorbike so I could have money to take her up here for the screening.”
3 hours on the bus, 2 hours waiting to complete the application, the whole family’s effort traveling long distances, the waiting time, the risk of pawning the motorbike but the results were not as expected. Thuy had high white blood cell count so she didn’t qualify for the surgery. They had to make another appointment next week to do the test again. So the family need to made another trip to Saigon. The tiny baby just weighing 7 kg and 60 cm height continued testing but she was too young and afraid of the needle pain, so the medical staff had to be very careful to take her blood. The results were still the same, her white blood cell count is still not stable enough for the surgery. The family got back again with disappointment. By the third time, the white blood cell count was high, but after thorough rounds of testing, echocardiography and pediatric examination, the baby has been accepted for the surgery.
When the surgery was scheduled for Kim Thuy, Ms. Quyen – her mother – tried to take care of her more carefully so that she would be healthy to face the difficulties ahead. On the day of surgery, the couple was extremely worried, but could only stay outside the operating room. During a long day, when Thuy woke up, her parents finally released when seeing their child’s new face. They know that all their efforts were well paid then. When Thuy got back for a follow-up examination a week after surgery, her wound was gradually recovering extremely well. This is probably the greatest joy in 2022 before entering the new year for Kim Thuy’s family. Thuy’s Smile is now the greatest treasure that the parents hold in hands.