HOW is a registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization based in the USA, whose staff consists of all volunteers. Its mission is to provide hope and care to neglected, abandoned, and orphaned children in deprived areas of the world with a specific focus on VietNam.
What a wonderful treat it was for Helping Orphans Worldwide, HOW to meet Nancy Nguyen from Transparent Fish Fund, along with her lovly mother Thuy and Great Uncle Hung! We have been working hard as we always have promised to do from the beggining in 2007 when HOW first began. We have been developing new projects and learning how to do things the right way every single time. When HOW applied for a grant from the Transparent Fish Fund months ago, we were so delighted to see that they were all very passionalte about the work HOW's volunteers do daily and especially intersted in one of our very difficult and loving program EB, (Epidermolysis Bullosa) which is a rare genetic skin disease that causes the skin to be so fragile that even the slightest touch will separate the layers of the skin. The skin literally breaks, resulting in painful blisters and open wounds. A mother may never be able to hold her child tightly because the skin would peel off and bleed. Children with EB may never run or play as other children because even the slightest friction will cause them great pain.
Last week (October 29, 2012) Mr. Dat, Dr. Tram, and Hillary were able to finally meet and thank Nancy for her amazing assistance and care in HOW's EB program and also have the great pleasure to meet her mother, Thuy and great uncle Mr. Hung. We were able to show them a little bit of what we do and how we work.
HOW was given the great honor or being TFF's 13th partner and Hillary was given a beautiful and very precious gold TFF pin, for representing HOW as TFF's 13th partner. Dr.Tram and Mr. Dat were each given a beautiful green TFF pin for also representing HOW and their hard,loving and transparent work. HOW is proud to represent TFF as Vietnam's first partner in Vietnam!
Dr. Tram, Mr. Dat and Hillary were able to discuss our plans for the next 3 years, to discuss the difficulties and triumps we have faced and must face in the future. We were able to discuss EB at length and express our grattitude for the grant which was so graciously given, through the Transparent Fish Fund and The Ping and Amy Chow Family Foundation as well as their wonderful donors! We were able to discuss the great joys and hurdles we must push through in order to really help these children when they need an advocate and need help, as EB is something that has only recently been recognized and treated in HCMC Vietnam. We discussed the need for volunteer doctors and nurses to come to Vietnam and assist us in educating the hospital we are partners with and the need for proper wound care treatment. We discussed so many things that are just easier to talk about in person because there is just so much to say. Then we went to meet the kids, starting with Khoi at the hospital for some much needed attention to his little toes and legs and a full check.
Khoi's entire family came the 2.5 hour journey for this check up and to also thank Nancy and TFF!
We waited for Dr. Orieux to check on the last visit and see what kind of progress we are seeing with the proper wound care supplies and treatment. Everything looked so much better then the last visit but his legs and feet are not in good shape at all, as he has the most sever type of EB and it's very difficult to care for him in the best circumstance, let alone in the middle of the country with no electricty, no clean water or even a place to buy the nutritious milk he requires and of course no place to purchase EB wound care. This is why HOW has stepped in and have been working with his 20 year old mother and 22 year old father to help them and guide them. They have followed the directionss of the doctors,nurses and have watched the translated EB Wound Care video on Hillary's computer during Mr. Dat and Hillary's many visits to their home. They also talk to Dr. Tram on a regular base for any questions that come up as this is a very difficult disorder and new things come up by the minute.
Khoi is one of several children that HOW is working with and we care for each and every one of these kids like we would our own children although Khoi and Huy are very lucky to have such loving parents, some here are not so lucky and are abandoned. HOW's hope is that in the future people will understand the EB is genetic and there are tests that can be done to detect if the parents are carriers.
Khoi's little toes have started to fuse and we are trying to save the ones that have not yet fused by teating properly and educating mom and dad about the way to properly take care of these tiny precious little feet before it's too late.
Think of Khoi's mom doing a 3 to 5 hour wound care treatment daily with the a bit of help at times, here we are all trying to help while the good doctor gives him a full exam!
Khoi's mom must hold hime to give him some comfort before the exam is over because the little man is in such pain and also surrounded by strangers he is such a good little boy and so sweet! After the treatment he is full of giggles and smiles, we always find this so amazing,after so much pain... instant happiness when he is treated. Nancy was able to witness what a brave little guy he is and what a lovlely family he has, but they just need help.
HOW is very lucky to able to take part in helping these families. Thanks to the Vietnamese Government for allowing HOW to continue to work with the doctors and to deliver more education we hope to locate more untreated children living with EB in Vietnam and in need of wound care treatment, education for the families and care givers for the children who are orphaned and living with EB.
This is Khoi's hand wound care before, and we were able to show mom how to do this properly again,and sent them home with more of the correct bandages and other materials needed to wrap hands and toes. We have asked mom to let us know when she runs out but she was too shy, we have taken care of that. and assured her that we love Khoi like we love our own and it's our pleasure and would make us all a lot happier if she had what she needs to not see her son in pain and give him a better opportunity for a brigher future.. :) Great ending to the visit and in this case we will check in weekly.
Nancy Meets Huy
Nancy and Thuy were able to meet Huy and here about his life from him! He loves to chat and has so much to say. He was able to explain about how his life has changed with all of the love he has received through HOW's volunteers, and friends. He was able to thank Nancy, the Transparent Fish Fund and The Ping and Amy Chow Foundation for helping other children who live with EB in Vietnam. He talked about the zoo, and his friends Brett and Jane, about his family and his firtst taxi ride! Nancy was able to see what an amazing kid he is, how smart he is and also she mentioned that he is so polite and thoughtful. She is so right!
Dr. Tram and Huy have been great friends for a long time and he was very happy to see her! He was able to talk to Dr. Tram about how important it is that he represents HOW for EB Awareness. He was delighted when Dr. Tram told him that it was because of him that Khoi was able to find HOW, and all of the people that he has helped. This has made Huy so proud and so happy, he has even told people who visit that he has enough to please help the other children who HOW works will or will work with in the future and not to leave him anything but their friendship!
Huy's hands, and arms, one day they look great and the next they are full of blisters... we continue to do the best we can and he also goes through 3 to 5 hours of painful woundcare and yet is a complete joy and pleasure! Huy continues to inspire all of us and now so many others who meet him!
We finally said "see you soon" and Thuy was able to have one last photo with the super star, Huy! What a lovely trip and we are again so gratefull to all at Transparent Fish Fund and for Nancy Nguiyen and her family for taking the time to visit with the children and with HOW! We look forward to a long and productive, transparent, and wonderful friendship and partnership! Please visit our website at www.helpinghow.org and also all donations can be made through The Ping and Amy Chow Family Foundation, The Transparent Fish Fund or directly to www.helpinghow.com
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