Sunday, November 20, 2011

A good outcome

Thien Nhan is getting "back on his foot" following his latest round of surgeryin Hanoi. The 5-year-old is healing well and is in good spirits.

All of the 31 other boys who underwent genital surgery at the Hanoi Paediatrics Hospital have also returned home to their families. The all-volunteer surgical team, which included Italian, American and Vietnamese specialists, were pleased with the outcomes of all 32 operations.

Fundraising is now underway to raise money for another 60+ Vietnamese boys to receive surgery to repair or rebuild damaged or malformed genitals.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Thien Nhan Recovering

Thien Nhan's latest surgery at the Hanoi National Pediatric Hospital went well, although he remains in considerable pain and is having trouble sleeping. "He doesn't complain but I hear him crying quietly at night," says his mum, Mai Anh. "The first days are the worst."

Two days ago Thien Nhan, now 5, underwent his third surgery to repair his genitals, which were badly damaged when he was abandoned at birth in the jungle near Danang and mauled by wild animals. His first two surgeries were performed in the US and in Italy.

It is expected that Thien Nhan will require two more surgeries, plus lifelong hormone replacement therapy to help him to mature normally. He is a bright, active and very determined little boy, who loves video games, cake and playing with his brothers.

Thien Nhan's big dream is to get a high-tech, "robot" prosthetic limb that will allow him to walk and run. Due to his very short leg-stump, previous prosthetics have proven unusable. He moves around by hopping on his left leg, which is hard as steel.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Thien Nhan Ready for Surgery

Thien Nhan is in hospital in Hanoi, ready for surgery today. Dr. DeCastro, the Italian surgeon who performed Thien Nhan's genital reconstruction last year, will perform a procedure to enlarge the skin around the boy's groin, so that prosthetic testicles can be put in place during a follow-up surgery next year. Today's procedure is expected to take around four hours.

"Thien Nhan is worried about this surgery," admitted his mom, Mai Anh, yesterday. "He remembers how much the last surgery hurt and is tired. Nobody likes being in hospital. We all feel worried and tired." Thien Nhan turned five last July. He won fans around the world after he miraculously survived being dumped in the jungle in Central Vietnam at birth and horrifically mauled by wild animals.

This November, Dr. DeCastro and a team of Italian and Vietnamese specialists will perform surgeries on 32 little boys with genital deformities in Hanoi. Because everyone involved in this amazing endeavour is volunteering their time, these procedures will cost an average of just US$1,500 per child. These life-changing surgeries were organized by American philanthropist Greig Craft, a longtime resident in Vietnam.