Family struggles to cope with child’s disease
  • | | August 03, 2010 09:08 AM

A three year-old boy is trying to fight for his life, while his bleeding wounds and painful cries have broken the hearts of his parents countless times.

Phuoc’s body is almost always full of sores.

Nguyen Duy Phuoc has been diagnosed with a serious skin condition, known as Epidermolysis Bullosa since birth. It is an illness that makes Phuoc’s skin become extremely fragile, which in turn, causes painful blisters to easily form on his body. Even the lightest scratch can cause Phuoc’s skin to peel.

Dang Thi Thanh Thao, Phuoc’s mother shared, “During the period I was pregnant with Phuoc, I was told that nothing was wrong and he had been developing normally. But as soon as I gave birth to him, he was immediately transferred to Children’s Hospital 1. It was a month later that I got to see Phuoc for the first time.”

“He was all wrapped up in bandages and every time his bandages were changed, a small part of his skin would be peeled off and attached to the cloth strips. The doctors said Phuoc’s disease can only be partially overcome and not cured completely. I cannot express how painful it has been for me, as a mother, to see him having to suffer so much,” said Thao as she fought back tears.

Thao and Sanh, Phuoc’s father, started a family together with empty hands, and their life had been worsened by the ill fate of their first and only child. Unable to pay for Phuoc’s continuous treatment and hospital fees, the young couple had no choice but to take their poor baby home soon after.

“We were told that his condition is very difficult to overcome, and he may not be able to get through it. To our, and to many people’s surprise, Phuoc has lived up until now. He could have been much better if we could afford for him to be treated at the hospital,” said Dang Van Rau, Phuoc’s grandfather.

Acccording to the family, when Phuoc was initially brought home, a local doctor was hired to come and look after the child twice a day. However, it lasted for only two months before the family ran out of money to pay for the doctor and medicine costs. Only sometimes, when Phuoc’s condition became too serious, was he taken to the hospital.

Due to long periods being wrapped in bandages, the child’s fingers and toes are almost stuck together, causing him difficulty in movement. The family has to be extremely careful, while taking care of Phuoc, for just a light friction could cause Phuoc’s skin to form blisters, and once broken, they are very difficult to heal. Phuoc’s body is almost always susceptible to sores.

With Sanh cutting hair for a living and Thao selling clothes in a supermarket, each month, they could only earn about VND 2.5 million (USD 130), while the cost for Phuoc’s home treatment, from antibiotics, blood tonics, special medicines, bandages, and other necessary things, is already VND 300,000 (USD 15) per day.

Duy Phuoc’s life has been largely maintained due to the help of his maternal grandfather and grandmother, who are respectively still working as a cleaner and motorbike keeper. It is however, a struggle for the family everyday. Sometimes they can, and sometimes they cannot, afford Phuoc’s medicine and daily costs.

Phuoc needs more help to fight his disease.

Charitable donations please send to:

1. Dang Thi Thanh Thao (Nguyen Duy Phuoc’s mother)

Address: 343/35/6D Tran Thu Do Road, Phu Thanh Ward, Tan Phu Dist., Ho Chi Minh City.
Tel: 01216.617.330

2. Compassionate Hearts Charity Fund – Dan Tri Newspaper (Hanoi)
No. 2/48 Giang Vo Str., Dong Da Dist., Hanoi (beside Kim Ma petrol station)
Tel: 04.3.7366.491/ Fax: 04.3.7366.490

* Vietnam Dong Account information:
Account holder: Bao Khuyen hoc & Dan tri
Account number: 10 201 0000 220 639
With Bank: Vietnam Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Industry and Trade – Hoan Kiem Branch

* US Dollar Account information:
Account holder: Bao Khuyen hoc & Dan tri
Account number: 10 202 0000 004346
With Bank: Hanoi Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Industry and Trade

3. Representative Offices:
Ha Tinh: 46 Nguyen Cong Tru, Tan Giang Ward, Ha Tinh City. Tel: 039.3.857.122
Da Nang: 25 Nguyen Tri Phuong, Thanh Khe Dist., Da Nang City. Tel: 0511.3653.725
HCM City: 40/17/16 Nguyen Van Dau, Ward 6, Binh Thanh Dist, Ho Chi Minh City. Tel: 08.35107.331
Can Tho: 53/13 Ly Tu Trong, Ninh Kieu Dist., Can Tho City. Tel: 071.3.733.269

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