Future for Ho Tu Tu

By: Dan Ha (Nguyen Phuong Tra)

Dan Ha, is an alias name for Nguyen Phuong Tra. Nguyen Phuong Tra is a woman who is a member of the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs asks people in Viet Nam, the USA and all around the world to please help support Ho Tu Tu, a young girl who suffered severe burns in a kindergarden class in Daklak, Viet Nam.


Behind a glass partition, there was a little baby with face, head, body and two hands bandaged. She lied thinly sown on a darzzinge white bed while her mother was propping hands against the bed and endeavoring to give her the breast. Throughout two months staying at Vietnamese National Institute of Burn, I day to day witnessed that situation together with endless love from a young couple spending on their child, exceptional courage of the baby and also a deep grief after-affect that a burn accident leaving on her body.

The little baby is Ho Tu Tu born on 1st December 2002 at Buon Me Thuot city, Daklak province, Vietnam. She was serious burned when tripping onto a boiling soup pot in a kindergarten in March 19, 2004 (when Tu tu was only on her 16th month of age), Unfortunately, the babysitter in that kindergarten hastily took her cloth off over her head bringing about outer skin of chest and chin. Arriving the National Institute of Burn in Hanoi after a long travel from Daklak Emergency Unit, Tu Tu was in the situation of high fever, low blood pressure, high plasma glucose level and electrolytes disturbance. With a little 16 month old baby, that injury was too serious but a mystery happened: Tu Tu was kept alive. However, both arms and hands of the baby are disable, horrible scars are growing to be convex and rigid making muscles strained and especially fingers deformed. I was shock when Ms. Nguyen Thi Nu, mother of little Tu, disengaged the baby's bandage. You know! beautiful hands of a little baby now become deformation pieces. I can not image how Tu Tu can live in the future with those hands but can not prevent a pain in my heart when Tu Tu blended down to pick snack by her mouth and smile.


I has been in a divided mind why Tu Tu still smiles (and she smiles quite often and is very obedient) while she has to suffer so much pains. Whenever Tu Tu was brought to bandage changing room, she curled up with panic. But she had to experience 5 operations on necrosis excisions, xeno-graft and auto-grafts. When scald recovered, rehabilitation process made Tu Tu much more painful. She burst into loud wails whenever nurses arriving but unasked-for giving them her hand. I do not understand what happened in Tu Tu's mind or before a too much pain, a little baby at 16th month old may have such energy. May that strength come from her parent. The couple overcame many obstacles to wrest live from the Dead for their daughter. Taking a very simple example: I, everyday, spend 15 minutes on bathing my baby, it is the wonderful time of my baby and I, while Ms. Nu has to spend 1 and a half hour on bathing and changing bandage for Tu Tu and this time is the period that both the mother and the baby are on crying as Tu Tu has to suffer painful.


Currently, after 6 month from discharging, injury of Tu Tu is healed but its after-affect ceaselessly develops. The more she grows, the more her scalds convex and contract. She should be treated until 18 year old with continuous excisions because of nerve and muscle contracture. "I always think that is not true. The image of Tu Tu that I saw when I arrived the Emergency Unit made my heart broken. That feeling will never disappear in my mind", this confidence of Ms. Nu time-to-time obsess me.

Ms. Nguyen Thi Nu and Mr. Ho Quang Trung (father of Tu Tu) has got deeper and deeper into debt to provide medical treatment for their daughter. They need the community in sharing this difficulty. I wrote this article not only to share the pain of little Tu but also call for help from readers to the familly. Then, we can bring a brighter future for Tu Tu. Any of your assistance is highly appreciated and could be sent directly to Ms. Nguyen Thi Nu, Construction Company No. 507, Km 8, Highway 26, Tan Hoa ward, Buon Me Thuot city, Daklak province, Vietnam.

This is a translation of the article issued on Vietnamnet dated 18 December, 2004 at Vong Tay Nhanai December 2004

You can read this article in Vietnamese on the BSTTW internet site at Tuong lai cua Ho Tu Tu.