by Van Dat
Only a mother can do it. But even by the lofty standards of a mother's love for her children, Nguyen Thi Do is no ordinary person. For years, almost every day, she has carried her paralysed son, Nguyen Chung Tu, on her back, literally.
Of late, this has meant going past several storeys to the lecture halls at the HCM City University of Natural Sciences, where Tu is a third-year student.
For his part, Tu has repaid his mother's boundless love and sacrifice with outstanding academic performances that have made him the idol of many peers.
Do says that when Tu was born, he looked normal. However, at 14 months, as she eagerly waited for him to take his first steps, she discovered that his legs were paralysed due to Agent Orange, the toxic defoliant that had infected his father.
All her efforts to help her son stand and walk failed, and her struggle inspired Tu to do his best to overcome every difficulty he faced. For 12 consecutive school years, he was an excellent student and this has continued in college as well.
Tu has actually gone beyond just studying well. He has set up a club called Niem Tin (Confidence) to support other youngsters in predicaments similar to his. After graduating, Tu plans to open a free computer class for poor and disabled children in his home province.
However, his health is not very good and his mother is exhausted, working to earn money to feed him as well as his brother, another paralysed Agent Orange victim.
Fortunately, the heroism of the mother and son has inspired other people to take inspiring action.
Vuong Thi My Trinh, who works with the HCM City University of Natural Sciences' Student Supporting Centre, recently attended a game show on TV and raised VND49 million to support Tu and his mother. — VNS