Last year, Linh Chi, our travel agent, persuaded us to make a visit to the Buddhist pagoda near their home here in Hanoi. One of the services the monks at this pagoda provide to the community is to take in and nurture abandoned babies left at their gate. One of the caretakers of these babies was a woman, Cuc, in her early twenties. She had contracted polio about the age of ten, which left her with marked weakness of many muscles in both legs. As a result, she could only move about by crawling. Linh Chi wanted me to examine her and give my opinion on options. I did so and we forwarded this information along with pictures of her legs to some orthopedic surgeons affiliated with Red Cross.
This year, Linh Chi informed me that the original contact did not pan out but after considerable effort on her part, she linked this woman with Mr. Cuc, head of the Danang rehabilitation center; the same man that Roger Marshall works with for the branch center where Mr. Quy and Mr. Tien, former trainees of AFSC Quaker Service, now work in Quang Ngai! Small world.
Mr. Cuc arranged for this woman to have her first surgery on one leg. She was in a cast for several months followed by physical therapy. But now she is able to walk with assistance and is waiting for the second surgery on her other leg. The expectation is that after that surgery she will be able to walk upright with minimal assistance! Currently, she has been able to move back to her own village where her family lives and Linh Chi said, "She is hoping that she will be able to get married and have a normal life!" I am so grateful and happy to have had a small part in this beautiful story.