BÌNH ĐỊNH — Nguyễn Văn Lưu lost his leg in a traffic accident three years ago.
The 26-year-old has overcome a tough time and has found a desire to help needy and poor people to have a better life.
Lưu was born in a poor family in central Bình Định Province’s Phù Cát District. After graduating from high school, Lưu decided to go to HCM City to get a good job, so he could help his parents in his hometown.
He earned a job at a jewellery company. Things were going well until the accident.
It was an evening in late September, 2016. Lưu was on his way home from the company when his motorbike was hit by a car on Phan Đình Phùng Road.
Lưu fell into the road. He felt hurt all over the body, except for his left leg.
After 10 minutes of lying in the road, he tried to get up and took a taxi to the hospital with the help of local people.
Lưu was rushed into surgery. The doctor told him that the left leg was crushed and needed to be cut off to save his life. He had lost too much blood.
“I was conscious enough to be aware of what was happening. In that moment between life and death, I chose to live,” he told online newspaper vietnamnet.vn.
He signed a commitment paper, which said he agreed to have his leg cut off. He made a phone call to his parents right before surgery.
Awake after surgery, Lưu saw his mother sitting next to him. She looked at him, shedding tears and trying to comfort him. His left leg had been amputated.
“My mum must have felt desperate to see me in that situation,” he said.
A month later, he struggled to sleep as the terrible memory returned whenever he closed his eyes. He became more sensitive than ever, easily frustrated and would cry often.
The patient, full of sadness, looked to his mother to pull him out of the bad days.
After being discharged from the hospital, Lưu practised walking on crutches and on an artificial leg. He registered for a gym course to improve his health.
Lưu returned to the old company to work and earned a monthly salary of VNĐ6 million (US$258), of which he used VNĐ1 million ($43) on good deeds.
Journey of good deeds
The next 700 days he travelled with charity groups to social centres and nursing houses in many provinces. He, together with the groups’ members, cooked meals and took care of disadvantaged elderly people.
Last November, Lưu quit his job and moved to northern Vĩnh Phúc Province to learn tattoo art. He wanted to earn money without being a burden to other people.
On his second day of studying tattoo art at the centre, Lưu found out that there was an old man living alone right next to the centre.
Nguyễn Văn Tiến lived alone in a small old house. He had no relatives or children. The neighbours usually bought food for him as he was too weak to move much.
When Lưu came into his house, the man was lying in a dirty, smelly blanket. The house stank.
“I couldn’t sleep. I thought it would be me when I got older,” he said.
The next day, Lưu and some students came to clean up Tiến's house and brought him some warm clothes.
In the morning, Lưu woke up early, brought breakfast for Tiến, fed him, helped him take medicine and went to class. At noon, he brought lunch and fed him. After class, Lưu came to feed Tiến dinner and drew a bath for him.
The schedule repeated every day while he studied in the province.
The story gained public attention. Many people came to donate for food for the old man. He was now being cared for by a relative, Lưu said.
When he returned to his hometown, Lưu heard about a 96-year-old woman living her last days alone in Phù Cát District.
It took him three days to find the woman’s house. She was lying on a bed and struggling to breathe. Her arms and legs were swollen due to a severe kidney disease.
On the altar, the woman put her own photo and a pair of worshipping lamps. She had prepared for her death.
From that day, Lưu visited the house twice a day to take care of her.
The woman died several weeks later due to old age and weak health.
More people have come to tell him about those who need help. Lưu has always found a way to visit needy people, live with them and help them. He has gained full support from his mother.
Lưu said he felt happy when a person received help.
“Now I know happiness is a kind of feeling – the feeling when we help someone and we have peace of mind.”
Lưu said he would continue helping other people while he was healthy. VNS