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Single mother raising two sick children

Bac GiangOn the weekend afternoon, Ms. Hue arranged a bunch of vegetables, egg trays, baskets of tomatoes… on the table and pushed them to the front of the village to sell, her son Quang Do ran after his mother barefoot.

In the house, the eldest daughter Minh Anh is leaning on the page of her notebook, preparing for the semester exam.

The scene of ordinary life is like any family in Dong Lo commune, Hiep Hoa district, but it is a happiness that Dao Thi Hue sometimes thought would not be possible. More than a year ago, she had to take two children to the hospital, one with blood cancer, the other with congenital hemolytic disease.

“Compared to the days when my child was in the hospital, ate one bite and vomited one piece, as long as he was the most normal like this, eating 3 meals a day, going to school like many friends, I was already very happy.” 42-year-old mother shared.

However, she was still anxious because she knew that the disease of her two children could recur at any time.

The second son, Quang Do, likes to help his mother arrange the goods on the running table.  Photo: Character provided.

The second son, Quang Do, helps his mother put goods on the “running table” to sell to people in the neighborhood. Image: Character provided.

In 2008, she gave birth to a healthy daughter, Minh Anh. Over the age of two, Anh’s health is more stable, but since entering primary school, the old symptoms have reappeared.

In mid-2015, when Anh studied almost to the end of 2nd grade, Ms. Hue discovered that her child’s body appeared many bruises and fevers that did not stop. She took her child to Bac Giang Provincial General Hospital, then was transferred to the National Hospital of Hematology and Blood Transfusion. The results of the examination and tests here showed that she had a form of blood cancer called acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

The mother did not understand anything about the disease, only knew that it was “very dangerous”, so she rushed back to her hometown to borrow money and send her second son, then only 3 years old, to his grandmother to take care of. Since the beginning of 2016, she and her daughter have been fighting an incurable disease, starting with chemotherapy infusions.

“Each treatment session is that I am tired, constantly vomiting, white blood cells are low, my lips are pale. One day, my mother fed me 3 pieces of rice, and on the third piece, I could not swallow it. I was so sad, flattered. When she couldn’t finish, she scolded, in the end, she spat out all the rice in her mouth, and the mother and daughter could only hug each other and cry,” the mother recounted the days when she was the most frustrated.

However, looking at the tearful circumstances around, encouraged by the doctors and supported by everyone in the family, especially seeing that her daughter was still innocent when she was sick, she told herself to be strong. stronger to walk with you on the arduous journey.

As a worker in an industrial park, she had to quit her job to take care of her children and did not have any income. During her stay at the hospital, Ms. Hue also tried to find another job to earn money to go to the fields, because she knew her condition. child as well as the treatment will be prolonged. Occasionally, she washes dishes for the hospital canteen and washes clothes for some patients in the ward. At mealtime, the mother and daughter went to receive rice for charity.

After two treatment sessions, Minh Anh’s condition gradually stabilized. I don’t have to go to the hospital anymore, I just need to take medicine and have regular health checkups. Hue asked to go back to work, her parents and children took care of each other in a small house with her brother’s family. The rhythm of life seemed to go on like that, but in August 2020, Minh Anh’s illness suddenly recurred. Ms. Hue again took her child to the hospital and started the treatment process again, each time in the hospital for 40-60 days.

When Minh Anh’s health was temporarily stable, in November 2020, his younger brother, born in 2012, was found to have congenital hemolytic disease. “At that time, I felt like someone pushed me down the cliff. I was both bewildered as to what I did wrong to cause both my children to have serious illnesses, and felt helpless because of the situation being so poor, I didn’t know what to do. Why do I take care of my child, sometimes I think about it,” Hue confided.

Fortunately, when the blood count was tested, Do’s condition was not severe, and his health gradually improved. Her grandmother gave her a few meters of land, and was supported by the provincial Red Cross and many benefactors. In 2021, Ms. Hue built a small house for her children to feel secure, from worrying about rain and sun. In order to have time to take care of her two children, she no longer works as a worker, but instead closes a small table and pushes it to the alley to sell vegetables to neighbors.

Sharing about the difficult situation and the reason why her two children have their last names, Hue said that she was born in a poor family, her father died early, only a few mothers and children depended on each other. When she was almost 30 years old, still unmarried, she accepted to live with an elderly man in the same locality. After a few years, the family was poor, the children were constantly ill, many conflicts arose, and finally, she took the two children empty-handed to her grandmother’s house and asked to stay at the house of her mother and brother.

The two sisters Minh Anh and Quang Do, although they love each other very much, are sometimes bitter.  Photo: Character provided.

Sisters Minh Anh and Quang Do in a new house built last year supported by the Red Cross Society of Bac Giang province. Image: Character provided.

Since staying at home with the children, she wakes up early in the morning to cook food and then wakes the children up to go to school. When the children went to school, the mother also went straight to the market to buy vegetables and buy goods to sell. At noon, the children come home from school with their mother to cook. In the afternoon, my mother sells vegetables until 19:00, she cleans the goods, and when she comes home, the mother and daughter will have food and study. “I just hope that God will love me so that the rhythm of life can stay like that, so the children don’t get sick again and have to go back to the hospital for treatment,” Hue said.

Doctor Nguyen Thi Huong Giang – Department of Pediatrics, National Institute of Hematology and Blood Transfusion, said that Minh Anh is quite a special patient when the whole treatment process is almost exclusively taken care of by the mother. When she was diagnosed with blood cancer, Anh was given aggressive treatment, then maintained, periodically examined, until she relapsed, this process had to start again.

“Currently, Minh Anh only needs maintenance treatment, periodically goes to the hospital to inject chemicals and then returns. She can live and go to school normally,” said Dr. Giang.

However, according to the doctor, with the condition of blood cancer and having relapsed once, the possibility of a recurrence after that is completely possible. Doctors also only know how to advise families to take good care of their children’s health, closely monitor and take children to the hospital for examination and treatment as soon as there are signs of disease recurrence.

Minh Thuy

With the goal of igniting the faith of children with cancer, the Hope Foundation cooperates with the Mr. Sun program to launch the Sun of Hope program. One more community’s cooperation is another ray of light to the future generations of the country.

Readers can see information about the program here.

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