Most people in the poor village of Hoa Tay know Tran Cong Thoan and his wife Nguyen Thi Huong.
They are known for two things: their tragic story and their undying love that has kept them together through adversity.
Thoan married Huong, now 30, in 2006, knowing full-well that she had inborn heart disease and was in need of surgery.
Wedding presents plus their savings totaled 0.95 ounces of gold, which was around VND10 million (US$480) at the time, but the operation Huong needed cost more than VND100 million.
Thoan sought help from various charity organizations and borrowed money from neighbors and anyone else he could for more than two years until he finally had enough.
Huong became a lot healthier after the operation and she began taking care of the house.
The couple, who lives in the central province of Quang Nam, said they were happier than ever, even though their makeshift bamboo and thatched-roof house had nothing valuable in it, save an old motorbike and a gas cooker.
But the good times ended in late 2011 when Huong fell ill due to a stroke. She has been paralyzed ever since.
Neighbors said taking care of Huong is more difficult than caring for a baby, but Thoan does so ceaselessly.
Thoan said half of Huong's tongue has gone numb. When feeding her, he has to put the food on the undamaged part so that she can feel the food and swallow it. Each meal takes around two hours, he said.
And Thoan is still looking for money to pay for her paralysis treatment, and to pay back old debts.
Huong cries every time she hears people talk about her family.
"Huong cannot speak but she can hear and understand," said Thoan. "Every time she hears about her condition, she cries. Poor her."
|Donations for Huong's treatment can be sent to Vietcombank account of Thanh Nien newspaper at 102010000116341. All donations should be noted as intended for "Nguyá»…n Thá»‹ Hương". They can also be deposited at Thanh Nien offices, nationwide:
- 248 Cong Quynh Street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
- 2nd floor, No. 17, 167 Tay Son Street, Dong Da District, Hanoi
- 41B Cat Cut Street, Le Chan District, Hai Phong
- 1 Nha Tho Street, Thanh Hoa Town, Thanh Hoa Province
- 144 Bach Dang Street, Da Nang
- A22A Tran Le Street, Da Lat
- 133 Le Loi Street, Quy Nhon Town, Binh Dinh Province
- 120 Thong Nhat Street, Nha Trang
- 88 Vo Thi Sau Street, Bien Hoa Town, Dong Nai Province
- 99 Tran Van Hoai Street, Can Tho.
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