Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Help Thien Nhan

Yesterday, Mommy chanced upon a link from that led Mommy to Thien Nhan's blog. Upon reading Thien Nhan's blog, Mommy's heart ached to know how some parents can be so irresponsible in abandoning their newborn baby. Even more heartbreaking is how the poor innocent baby has to suffer the consequences for the rest of his life because of his parents' irresponsible action in abandoning him.

So what sets Thien Nhan apart from other abandoned babies?

Thien Nhan was found abandoned at birth on 15th July 2006. By the time he was found in the yard of a dilapidated wooden house in a remote village of a hilly area of Central Vietnam, he had been mauled by a wild animal which results in the loss of his right leg and genitals, and his wounds were covered with insects. This baby miraculously survived the severe attack and so the local monks named him 'Thien Nhan' which means 'Good Person'.

(Poor Thien Nhan was barely alive when he was found.)

In mid-March 2008, Thien Nhan is adopted by a Vietnamese family in Hanoi and so is seeking for donations to help pay for his medical care, rehabilitation and education. Medical care, rehabilitation and hormone replacement therapy are what he needs for most parts of his life. Thien Nhan's medical care involves urethral dilation to make urination easier for him and thereafter, genital reconstructive surgeries over a course of 10 to 15 years. As for hormone replacement therapy, because Thien Nhan has lost all testicular tissue, he will need hormone replacement therapy for the rest of his life. Otherwise, Thien Nhan can never turn into a man, but of course he will not be able to father children anymore.

Various organizations and individuals have helped Thien Nhan in one way or another, including a major fundraising effort by Singapore's cartoonist in The Sunday Times, Lee Chee Chew, in his blog "Chew On It!".

Mommy must commend Thien Nhan’s adoptive parents for their courageous effort in adopting him. His adoptive parents are the actual unsung angels. Mommy knows it is a difficult decision to want to adopt a child that comes with hugh medical bills. Not many parents will want to adopt a child like that. Adopting a child is one thing, but adopting a child that comes together with hugh medical bills plus time taken off from work and household routine is a different thing altogether that calls for a lot of sacrifices.

(Thien Nhan with his adoptive mother, Tran Mai Anh.)

(Thien Nhan finding comfort with his adoptive mother.)

So Mommy feels compelled to do Mommy's part in publicizing Thien Nhan's plight - hopefully more donations can come pouring in into Thien Nhan's fund! Therefore, Mommy got in touch with Thien Nhan's adoptive mother's good friend, Elka Ray, to obtain photos of Thien Nhan to be included in this posting. As for methods in making the donations, please refer to Thien Nhan's blog which is written by his adoptive mother, a Vietnamese journalist Tran Mai Anh, and her good friend Elka Ray who is a Canadian writer and editor who has lived in Vietnam for 12 years.

By the way, Mommy has included a link on 'Help Thien Nhan' at the sidebar of this blog so that visitors can still continue to see it (and be reminded of it!) even though this posting will come to pass eventually.

After reading about Thien Nhan's plight, now Mommy knows just how lucky Juan Or is!

An online magazine (Darmouth Medicine) article of Thien Nhan can be found here.

("Bye, bye, and see you again soon!")

1 comment:

Alice Phua said...

Mommy just got an update from Elka Ray - doctors found that Thien Nhan actually hasn't lost his testicles because his testicles have not yet descended from his body! This condition of undescended testicles is reported to be found in about 3 to 4% of male babies. So, it is indeed a miracle for Thien Nhan!

However, as to whether the testicles are damaged, we do not know yet. But this good news means that Thien Nhan may not need or only require less hormone replacement therapy, and that Thien Nhan may be able to father children in the future.

So, keep hopes high, but fingers crossed!