People with great contribution to the nation receive foot massages at the centre. — VNA/VNS Photos
HÀ NỘI — Lê Văn Tý has spent most of his life needing medical assistance.
At 62, he needs round the clock care to treat the many disease he has suffered over the years.
Today, he lives at the Hà Nội Nursing Centre for People with Great Contributions to the Nation No 2.
In the late 1970s he was injured protecting the northern border. Since then his health has been declining.
He has had both his legs amputated after gangrene set in and has suffered with gastrointestinal diseases.
As well as the dedicated care from the staff at the nursing centre, his wife Nguyễn Thị Thái is always around to help out.
She worked at a hospital where she met him.
She said: “More than 30 years ago, when I was a soldier at the Military Medical Hospital 103, I saw Tý was always optimist, I fell in love with him and then we got married.”
Living with a man in poor health, Thái decided not to have children but instead devote all her time and energy to taking care of her husband.
She does not think it is a sacrifice, but empathy and understanding.
“My brother died in the war, my pain is indescribable,” she said.
“For me, being able to come back from the battlefield alive is lucky and I want to heal my husband's wounds with affection and love.
“The staff are dedicated to taking care of my husband all day. But, there are some things that are better for me to do when I take care of my husband."
Former soldier Lê Văn Tý and his wife at the Hà Nội Nursing Centre for People with Great Contribution to the Nation No 2.
Ever the optimist, Tý said: "I have many people around to take care of me, what more could I wish for? I will always be happy to live a meaningful life, live for all of my teammates who passed away for the integrity of the nation and the people’s happiness."
Many other sick soldiers from different districts in Hà Nội now call the health facility home.
Despite being virtually bed-ridden, they share the same attitude as Tý and are grateful to still be alive.
For the past 30 years, the centre has become a beloved home for war invalids and seriously ill soldiers.
Besides taking care of former soldiers, the centre also helps people with recognised contributions to the national revolution.
It is estimated that in three decades they have treated around 65,000 of these people, regularly updating the facility to ensure they receive the best possible care.
Staff are dispatched to their localities to collect them for their health appointments, making sure they get home safely after treatment.
But as well as these practical steps, staff make sure each person is given a warm welcome when they arrive and are treated with dignity and respect during their stay.
These actions are the least they can do to reflect and thank them for the amazing contributions they have made to the country.
Patients receive comprehensive care, both physically and spiritually.
Coming to the centre for the first time, Nguyễn Hữu Nghĩa, from Tây Tựu Ward, Bắc Từ Liêm District, said: “We are well taken care of, even just the small things.
“Towels and toothbrushes are given to us with different colours so that the elderly are not confused. Arrangements are made so close friends and family can stay in the same room.
“The food is prepared according to our taste and suitable for each person’s health condition. Before each meal, centre staff comes to each table to listen to our suggestions if adjustments are needed.”
Also from Bắc Từ Liêm District, Nguyễn Hữu Xuân has been treated at the centre twice.
But during his second visit, he saw positive changes that had been made and found the centre more spacious and beautiful. He wishes he can come back more.
Director of the centre Nguyễn Văn Triệu said that they receive attention and investment from authorities and the community, so it was increasingly spacious and modern.
The rooms are upgraded and trees have been planted from the entrance to the houses.
Recently, they have added foot massages and saunas for the patients, ensuring they are suitable for the elderly people being treated.
“We always take the people’s joy and satisfaction as a measure for our working effectiveness,” said Triệu.
Knowing the immense sacrifices the patients have made, the staff understand the responsibility to reward them with affection and first-class care.
Nguyễn Thị Thu Huyền, deputy head of the Management and Nurturing Division, said, “We always try to take care of people with the best efforts, contributing to partially offset their pain caused by the war.” — VNS