De is the youngest child in a Mnong family of 4 brothers and sisters in Nam Tra My district, Quang Nam province. While living in this hard and impoverished mountainous region, De’s parents had to work in the fields every day to earn enough money to support their entire family and send their kids to school. They did not receive a monthly salary and had to depend on the rice and corn field every harvest season. Despite the struggles and privations, all four siblings strive to study and overcome obstacles as long as their parents are there to love and protect them. Ironically, the historic storm that struck Nam Tra My in 2020 destroyed De’s home, all of his family’s possessions, and even took away his parents—De and his siblings’ greatest source of spiritual support—leaving them with a great deal of sorrow and loss.

In early 2021, we met De at the VCF’s Rural Outreach Clinics in Quang Nam province. De was discovered to be one of the children with congenital heart defects. Heartbeat Vietnam and its partners immediately assisted De in receiving free heart surgery after learning about De and his brothers and sisters’ situation. His little heart was eventually mended in the closing days of March 2021.

When the Covid-19 wave hit, the four brothers and sisters’ lives were turned upside down again. Since his parents passed away, De’s eldest brother has taken on the responsibility of being a parent while still being a student, caring for and raising his brothers and sisters. VCF also swiftly provided emergency support to De’s family and continued to cover De’s travel and follow-up visit expenses to help reduce their financial burdens.

De is now an 11th grader and studying at Nam Tra My boarding school. He often comes home to visit his brothers and sisters every 2-3 weeks. In the most recent photo that his brother sent to Heartbeat Vietnam, De with his healthy heart cheerfully blew out his 16th birthday cake in the arms of his siblings.

Over the past 16 years, more than 9,500 little hearts like De have been revived thanks to the support of sponsors through the Heartbeat Vietnam program. Join us on our journey to help children every day so that many more children can celebrate their birthdays with healthier hearts.

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