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Thang, 9,  and his mother Tuyet wait for his heart surgery at the hospital in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam..---..Nguyen Van Thang is nine-years-old and just finished second grade. He lives in the coastal town of Nha Trang with his mother, grandmother, and 10-month-old brother. Thang's father, Bui Van Tri, spends much of his time away from his family, as he is a fisherman and works up and down the coastline. His income is about 400,000VND (~$23USD) per month; however, this salary is seasonal and there are months when he earns nothing at all. ..Thang's mother, Nguyen Thi Bach Tuyet, is 31-years-old and is a housewife. She cannot work as she must look after Thang, his brother, and his grandmother. Therefore, the family of five is solely dependent on Thang's father's income. The family lives in a lean-to extension of Thang's uncle's house that is just eight square meters with a tin roof, cement floor, and brick walls...Thang suffers from Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD), a common congenital heart defect (CHD) that occurs when there is a hole in the wall between the right and left ventricles of the heart. Symptoms of VSD include shortness of breath, fast heartbeats, loss of appetite, poor weight gain, chest pain, and discolored blue skin. In addition, other areas of the child's development such as physical growth and brain development are affected if VSD is left untreated, and the child also has a high chance of developing irreversible pulmonary hypertension...Thang was diagnosed with VSD when he was just two-months-old. He and Tuyet, his mother, made the arduous 10-hour trek from Nha Trang to the Heart Institute in Ho Chi Minh City at least five times over the course of his life, and the diagnosis was always the same: Surgery, or else he would die. Lifesaving surgery, however, was out of the question as it cost $3,100USD--a sum that was beyond anything Thang's family could scrape together. After each hospital visit Tuyet would make the long bus journey back to Nha Trang wit
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Thang, 9, and his mother Tuyet wait for his heart surgery at the hospital in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam..---..Nguyen Van Thang is nine-years-old and just finished second grade. He lives in the coastal town of Nha Trang with his mother, grandmother, and 10-month-old brother. Thang's father, Bui Van Tri, spends much of his time away from his family, as he is a fisherman and works up and down the coastline. His income is about 400,000VND (~$23USD) per month; however, this salary is seasonal and...
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  • Copyright Kevin German / LUCEO
  • Location: Vietnam
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  • Author: Kevin German
  • PhotoShelter ID: I0000VhaG8sJkL2Y

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