In the dormitory, Hùa was the last person to go to sleep and the person to wake up, just to study. — Photo suckhoedoisong.vn
HÀ NỘI — Living life without both parents since he was just nine years old, teenager Xồng Bá Hùa from the Mông ethnic minority group wouldn't let his loss stop his education.
He passed the National High School Graduation Exam with flying colours, and was admitted to the Hà Nội Medical University.
From a childhood of hardships
“Not long after my parents died, my then six-year-old sister became sick," Hùa told Sức khỏe & Đời sống (Health and Life) online newspaper.
"She was in pain, but we could not afford treatment. All I could do was cradle her in my arms and cry.”
That unforgettable memory ignited Hùa’s ambition of becoming a doctor, to one day treat impoverished kids such as himself in the remote commune of Mường Lống in Kỳ Sơn District of central Nghệ An Province.
As his grandparents and relatives were so poor, Hùa and his sister were sent to the SOS Orphanage in Vinh City, Nghệ An. The teenager remembered that Saturday in 2012 like it was yesterday.
His uncle cried after he left both children at the orphanage gate, with a word of advice: “Get educated and come back to help the village.”
The siblings were then allocated to House No 14, where they were nurtured by Trần Thị Bình.
“We both cried a lot in the first week,” said Hùa. “But mama Bình was so kind to us, as were all the other orphans. It was because of that help that my sister and I could adapt to our new lives.”
When he started school, Hùa was not fluent in Vietnamese, and that hindered him from catching up with his classmates. The thought of giving up did cross his mind but quickly disappeared whenever he recalled his uncle’s advice.
“If my friends stayed up until 9pm to study, I must stay up until midnight. My efforts must be ten times greater to follow my dream and help my village in the future,” said Hùa.
Staying true to his words, Hùa stayed up every night until late, with mama Bình by his side teaching him both Vietnamese and general studies. The teenager gradually caught up and eventually surpassed his peers. After grade nine, Hùa left House No14 and moved into the orphanage’s dormitory, living on his own.
The pride of his village
Living in the dorm, Hùa impressed everyone by his will and commitment to study. He would try to study anywhere, anytime, and even sat next to his peers just to attend an online class that he was not able to afford.
Phạm Ngọc Hòa, in charge of the dormitory, recalled: “Knowing his commitment to studying, we asked schoolteachers to tutor Hùa for free. I also found Hùa hundreds of model tests for him to practise. His results were so good, I was certain that he would pass the exam and fulfill his dream of becoming a medical student.”
Hòa said he was proud of Hùa, but was also worried that the child neglected his own health.
“During the 12th grade, some days he did not sleep, did not eat, just study," Hòa said.
"He was in the hospital for a week because of exhaustion. He was the last to go sleep and the first to wake up every day.”
In the National High School Graduation Exam, Hùa scored 8,25 in Chemistry, 8,4 in Mathematics, and 8 in Biology, with an additional 2,25 bonus points that added up to 26,9 in total. This result guaranteed that Hùa would be admitted to the Hà Nội Medical University, majoring in Medical Testing Technology.
Lê Bá Lương, SOS Vinh Orphanage director, said: “Hùa’s record is the orphanage’s record. This is the first time in 30 years that one of our orphans made it to the Hanoi Medical University.”
Hùa’s high school teacher at Hermann Gmeiner High School in Vinh City, congratulated the teenager, saying: “In all of my joy as a high school teacher, this is one of the most precious memories that I will hold dearly. My little Hùa has achieved his dream!”
A teary-eyed Hùa recalled the time he received his test results, as he was harvesting corns with his grandfather: “Grandpa and grandma were so happy, they hugged me and cried all the time,” he said.
Knowing he didn’t have one, his relatives bought him a new laptop as a gift. “It’s been so long since I saw my family this happy,” said the university freshman.
Surprised and touched by the love that his family gave him, Hùa vowed to try his hardest at university, and not let his family down. — VNS