Monday, August 31, 2009

Leg Up

This week, Thien Nhan, now 3, went in get his prosthetic leg refitted. He is receiving free prosthetic care from Coeur de Bambou, a French non-profit group with a prosthetic lab located next to the Hanoi French Hospital.

"Since his leg stump is so short, it is very hard to get the fake leg to fit right," says Thien Nhan's mom, Mai Anh. "It falls off a lot and is not very stable. He can only use it if he is leaning on his frame walker."

Each day, Thien Nhan must spend several hours practicing with his prosthetic limb and walker. "He can move much faster without it," says Mai Anh. "But he knows that he has to practice. It is very hard for him."

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Quality Control

Little Minh (left) and Thien Nhan are in charge of Quality Control Testing at Bubbafish, the little toy business owned by their mom, Mai Anh, and their Aunt Elka.

Here the kids are testing a zebra and a dog -- new samples for the Christmas season. Bubbafish gives a big chunk of sales to Thien Nhan's surgical costs. If you know of any retailers or distributors that might be interested in selling these handmade plush toys in the run-up to Christmas, email Elka for product info at

Friday, August 7, 2009

Beach Baby

Last week, Thien Nhan and his two big brothers went to the beach in Hoi An for a summer holiday. Unfortunately for Thien Nhan (and his mom, Mai Anh), the tot came down with a fever and spent the first three days in the hotel room! Luckily he recovered in time to enjoy the last days of their holiday and had a great time playing on the beach.

Thien Nhan's swimming experiences were less successful, reports Mai Anh. "We put him in a giant life vest," she explains. "But his missing leg left him unbalanced so he rolled around and around in the water!"
To see more photos of Thien Nhan at the beach go to