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Sick children receive rare treat

Update: June, 03/2013 - 11:02

by Gia Loc

HCM CITY (VNS)— Eager to meet with famous singers and receive gifts, 11-year-old patient Nguyen Thanh Toan urged his mother to take him to the main hall of the HCM City Blood Transfusion and Haematology Hospital as soon as his latest blood transfusion was done.

Toan has been hospitalised for the last five months because he suffers from thalassemia, a blood disorder passed down through generations in which the body makes an abnormal form of hemoglobin, the protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen.

Like many of his peers, Toan was looking forward to celebrating the International Children's Day on June 1.

The young boy had been told by doctors and nurses said that singers and artists would visit the hospital to sing and present gifts to him and other child patients.

After receiving his blood transfusion, he continued to receive other needed fluids, but he asked doctors to allow him to down to the hall with the IV set to enjoy the special day.

"I will tell my sister and father that I met Bui Minh Hoang (popular comedian, known as Hoang Map) and famous singers when they visited me in the hospital," Toan said, adding that he would also boast about the gifts he received.

Le Thi Thu Hong, Toan's mother, was moved to tears by his happiness. It had been a long time since she had seen him smile like this.

This was a memorable day for him, Hong said.

There were many other children of varying ages, also with their IV poles attached, excited to be in the hall for the Children's Day programme. The hall was crowded with the little patients and their relatives.

Doctor Nguyen Thi Thien Kim said the hospital was currently treating 70 children.

Those suffering from thalassemia had to spend most of their time in the hospital, Kim said, adding that keeping them happy and positive was very important as they fought their serious condition.

Thus, the hospital co-operated with the "Red Journey" blood donation initiative of the Nhan Ai Vong Tay Viet Joint Stock Company and the V.Sao Social Network to organise the "Confidence for Child Patients Programme", to mark the International Children's Day.

Kim said the hope was that the laughter and joy of meeting artists and singers, and the happiness of receiving gifts from them would help ease the pain that the children had to suffer, and provide soothing balm for their souls.

Nguyen Tuan Khoi, deputy head of Red Journey, said that the programme also aimed to make every citizen aware of the plight of patients with thalassemia who need both material and psychological assistance.

He said the programme will also select and assist patients whose families are in dire financial straits.

The "Confidence for Child Patients" Programme is one of several efforts made by hospitals and charitable organisations as well as individual artists to bring music to hospitals over the last two years.

The programme seeks to motivate and encourage healthcare personnel even as it lifts the spirits of child patients as well as their parents and relatives. —VNS


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