Stories From the Brave Little Hearts – 3 Scars of Life of Baby Cong Hieu
Little Cong Hieu was playing cheerfully when Heartbeat Vietnam met him again after his third heart surgery. In our eyes, the kid was always full of energy. He was also very playful when we first met him in his home in the Lam Dong highland 5 months ago, even though at that time Cong Hieu was in urgent need for another surgery to fix the remaining congenital defects such as lack of tricuspid valve and pulmonary valve. Cong Hieu parents always kept a close eye on their son, and told us despite the fear that the treatment could cost a fortune, they were determined that Cong Hieu would fight bravely to live.
Sitting on the edge of the bed in their brick house, Cong Hieu’s mother, with him on her lap, recalled Hieu’s first months in life. When he was only 1 month old, she noticed Hieu had shortness of breath. Promptly did the family take him to the clinic only to find out that Hieu’s lungs were seriously harmed by complicated heart defects. The parents hurriedly borrow money so that Cong Hieu could have hist first heart surgery at only 1 month old and a half.
Since then, the family was always been in debt. Surrounded by obstacles every day, the family never gave up their hope and the fight to give a healthy heart back to Cong Hieu. His two older sisters were sent to Thanh Hoa to live with the grandparents so that the young parents could take turns to work at a coffee farm and take care of Hieu. The earning was roughly $150 per month. Nevertheless, Hieu’s parents never let him miss a single appointment with the doctors. Before turning 3, Cong Hieu had already worn two big surgical scars on his chest.
Shortly after the second surgery, the family was told that Cong Hieu still needed a third one. The $5,000 cost shocked the young couple, but again, their hope never ceases. They persisted that Hieu will be saved. For months, they tried to seek sponsoring Hieu’s third operation. Miraculously in August 2018, the family was burst with happiness as Hieu finally received full funding for his surgery from Lam Dong Sponsoring Fund for Poor Patients and the Disabled, Heartbeat Vietnam and other donors.
When Cong Hieu was released from the ICU, his mother was overwhelmed in joy and gratitude. Sitting with us, she looked dearly at Hieu, sobbing her heart out: “I really do not know how to pay back the help from Heartbeat Vietnam, the donors and the doctors. You have given my son the chance to live. I can overcome any hardship so that Hieu and his sisters can live healthily and happily all their lives”.
Her thrilling words are huge motivation for us at Heartbeat Vietnam to work harder and engage more donors to help more brave little hearts like Cong Hieu to have the chance they very much deserved.