Sunday, May 24, 2009

Preparing for Round Two of Surgery

The recent discovery that Thien Nhan, who will turn 3 in July, has two undescended testicles has lent new urgency to his situation. If left inside the body for too long, his testicles may become damaged. Most infants born with this condition undergo corrective surgery within their first year.

When Thien Nhan was attacked by wild animals at birth, he suffered so much genital damage that doctors were unaware that his testicles remained inside his body. "That he still has his testicles is another miracle," says the boy's mom, Mai Anh. "We hope that this will enable him to forego hormone replacement drugs, and even to father children one day."

Spurred by this stunning discovery, Seattle-based charity Kids Without Borders and American philanthropist Greig Craft are working hard to arrange for Thien Nhan's next surgery. His first genital surgery took place at Dartmouth, NH in the USA last August.

All being well, this autumn surgeons will construct a scrotum from Thien Nhan's own skin, bring down his testicles, further dilate his urethra, and extract the one third of his penis that is now tucked up inside his skin. This is major and highly specialized urethral and plastic surgery. The expenses and logistics are considerable.

Ongoing fundraising efforts are being led by Kids Without Borders and the Asia Injury Prevention Foundation, which is founded and managed by Greig Craft. For more information, please visit or

To date, much of the financial help received by Thien Nhan has hailed from Singapore, largely thanks to the heroic efforts of Singapore Straits Times cartoonist Lee Chee Chew, who has raised more than US$50,000 for the tot. To see Mr. Lee's artwork and donor list, please visit:

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