FEA­TURES A ro­bot arm dream turned into re­al­ity

Viet Nam News - - FRONT PAGE -

HAØ NOÄI — On a sunny day at the begin­ning of Novem­ber, Voõ Thò Hoàng Vaân and her son travel the fa­mil­iar road from the south­ern prov­ince of Ñoàng Nai to HCM City to re­ceive treat­ment for the young boy’s cancer. On this par­tic­u­lar day, they are full of joy.

Cancer de­stroyed the child­hood and left hand of Vaân’s son - Haûi Ñaêng. The name which means light­house makes peo­ple think of hope. He’s now 13 years old and a pupil at the Hoøa Höng Junior Sec­ondary School in Long Thaønh Dis­trict, the south­ern prov­ince of Ñoàng Nai.

Now many bene­fac­tors have helped make Ñaêng’s dream of hav­ing a ro­bot arm a re­al­ity. fice.

Ñaêng’s arm had to be am­pu­tated to pre­vent metas­ta­sis. It was the only op­tion.

Be­ing a mother, Vaân strug­gled to tell Ñaêng the painful truth but was un­able to do it. The doc­tor helped Vaân break the news to Ñaêng.

“Ñaêng kept ask­ing me if his arm will be reat­tached af­ter it is cut,” Vaân said.

Vaân had to say “Yes’ just so Ñaêng would feel se­cure, but she cried in pri­vate.

Dur­ing the worst days, Vaân and her son found op­ti­mism in the pro­gramme ‘Thuùy’s dream’.

Meet­ing vol­un­teers from the pro­gramme, Ñaêng said he dreamed of shak­ing hands with a pilot, vis­it­ing the cock­pit and con­trol­ling the plane with his two hands. Ñaêng be­lieved that fly­ing a plane was like driv­ing a car, and he would hold the steer­ing wheel to control the plane around the blue sky.

Vol­un­teers looked at ways of help­ing Ñaêng, but strict reg­u­la­tions on flights meant he was un­able to ful­fill his dream.

Ñaêng went into surgery with his dream still in his mind.

Af­ter surgery, Vaân cried a lot. But it was Ñaêng who con­soled his mother.

“Mother, please don’t cry. I want you to be happy, I feel healthy when you’re happy,” Ñaêng told his mother.

Ñaêng was dis­charged from hos­pi­tal at the end of 2016.

At home, he tried to do ev­ery­thing by him­self. But when do­ing tasks that re­quired two hands, he told his mother, “If only I had a ro­bot arm.”

His wish was too much for their poor fam­ily.

At the Sun­flower Fes­ti­val held in HCM City last year, Ñaêng spoke about his dream. And the quest to find a ro­bot arm for Ñaêng started that day. a tech­nol­ogy work­shop, col­lab­o­rated with the Tai­wan-based TGH Or­gan­i­sa­tion to de­sign and build an arm for Ñaêng.

On hear­ing that the arm was fin­ished about five months later, Vaân and Ñaêng im­me­di­ately went to HCM City.

Ñaêng held his new arm and smiled.

Vaân said, “It’s been such a long time since I saw a smile on his face.”

The Sun­flower Fes­ti­val was launched in 2008. It is an im­por­tant part of the ‘Thuùy’s dream’ pro­gramme. The fes­ti­val was or­gan­ised to con­nect cancer pa­tients and call for help from peo­ple, busi­nesses and or­gan­i­sa­tions to sup­port them.

‘Thuùy’s dream’ was launched by the (Youth) news­pa­per two months be­fore a cancer pa­tient named Leâ Thò Thuùy passed away. The pro­gramme was set up in or­der to carry on her will and great ef­fort to help other dis­ad­van­taged chil­dren suf­fer­ing from cancer.

At the age of 15, Thuùy was di­ag­nosed with bone cancer. De­spite her ill­ness, Thuùy con­tin­ued tak­ing part in a num­ber of char­i­ta­ble ac­tiv­i­ties such as writ­ing a blog ti­tled

(Thuùy’s dream) and tak­ing part in many events for chil­dren with cancer in HCM City. She was named the young cit­i­zen of HCM City in 2006 ow­ing to her op­ti­mism in her fight against cancer while do­ing well aca­dem­i­cally at the same time. — VNS

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