When 2-year-old Mai Hoa underwent heart surgery in 2012 with the fees covered by Heartbeat Vietnam, Ngat, Hoa’s mother, thought that her family could finally turn over to a new page where her daughter would no longer suffer. However, when Hoa began showing symptoms of relapsing at the beginning of 2019, her parents had to brace themselves once again for the long battle against Hoa’s congenital heart defect – a double outlet right ventricle, in which two large blood vessels don’t connect to the heart normally.
Hoa’s father is a construction worker whose income is based on the number of his work days, but his hypertension prevented him from going to work daily. Hoa’s mom had been laid off from her company due to the impact of COVID-19 and later relied on unstable jobs. Despite the challenges, Hoa’s parents never gave up their hope to save their daughter by working their hardest to cover their day-to-day costs and Hoa’s treatment fees.
With her health conditions, Hoa, a 10-year-old girl, did not have the stamina to participate in school activities like her peers. Though she is shy and quiet to strangers, Hoa is very well-behaved, she loves her mom and often helps with chores. “Hoa always tells me that her dream is to become a nurse so that she can take care of mommy”, Ngat said.
As Hoa was waiting for her second surgery, the first wave of COVID-19 hit Vietnam. Stuck at home, the family had to patiently wait for their daughter’s operation while struggling to make ends meet. After the COVID situation eased off, contributions from Heartbeat Vietnam’s benevolent donors provided Mai Hoa with the operation she desperately needed. Half a year after the open-heart surgery, this precious little girl is on a complete recovery post-operation with encouraging regular checkups. Without the burden of a sick child, Hoa’s mother found a full-time job in a fishery factory, which improved the family’s financial condition. It is an inspiration to see our program’s broad impact in real-time and witness the transformation in Mai Hoa’s life along with thousands more children, creating a better future for families across Vietnam.
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