After fighting through six weeks of chemotherapy that rid his blood of most cancer cells, a 4-year-old boy from Ho Chi Minh City is now struggling to survive against a fatal bacterial attack on his brain.
The bacteria in Nguyen Doan Ha's cerebrospinal fluid was discovered just as he and his family were beginning to rejoice after hearing the news that much of his blood cancer had been cured.
He began suffering severe headaches August 28, just when he had begun to have fun again. Tests showed his brain was under attack from the bacteria.
"It was a much heavier shock than when I found out he had blood cancer, since there's no hope yet for treatment [of the bacteria] in Vietnam," said his mother Nguyen Lan Phuong.
Phuong knows she needs a huge sum of money to save her boy.
She and her husband are trying to sell their only property, which is a 20-square-meter apartment in Ho Chi Minh City, but legal complications have discouraged buyers.
The mother left her job in April last year to accompany her son after tests found he had blood cancer and had to be sent to the National Institute of Hematology and Blood Transfusion in Hanoi.
Phuong, her husband, Ha and a sibling are staying with relatives in the capital.
Though now living with two life-threatening conditions, Ha is brave and never cries.
Sometimes he whimpers: "Mom, my forehead aches, please fix it for me," according to a post on Phuong's Facebook page.
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