An eight-year-old Vietnamese girl thanked her doctors in Mandarin on Tuesday at a press conference in Hanoi to share the story of surgery to repair her deformed leg.
With her left leg still in braces, Nguyen Thi Loan got out of her wheelchair with the help of her mother and placed both feet lightly on the ground.
Such a scene was unimaginable six months ago for the then-bedridden child, who was born with a massive tumor on her leg, which grew to 15kg, making her left leg six times the size of the right.
The deformity rendered her incapable of standing and threatened her life. Making matters worse was another tumor that appeared on her anus, causing her intense pain.
Doctors in Ho Chi Minh City told the child’s parents that they were incapable of performing surgery to correct the condition.
At the press conference, Nguyen was accompanied by Taiwanese Representative to Vietnam Huang Chih-peng (黃志鵬) and her attending physician, Chen Hung-chi (陳宏基), head of the Taichung-based China Medical University Hospital Department of International Medicine.
With the assistance of Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Taiwan External Trade Development Council and staff of the hospital, Nguyen came to Taiwan six months ago to receive corrective surgery.
Chen said the brave girl underwent six major operations over six months, including reconstruction of her leg, massive skin grafts and the removal of her rectum and spleen.
The little girl said her dream was to “ride a bicycle and chase the wind with other children,” which is now not such a distant dream thanks to Taiwanese doctors.