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An orphan girl was infected with HIV and would like to become a doctor.
When her mother had the second baby, she uncovered the century disease of her whole family. Since then, disasters happened and took three lives in the family; just the 9 years old kid and her old paternal grandmother survived. This is Do Tra My, a kid in a very pitiful situation. She lives at 67Hamlet, Trieu Son commune, Thanh Hoa district. Her paternal grandmother’s name is Le Thi Toi.
In the empty house, Tra My's grandmother Mrs. Le Thi Toi grieved for her death husband. She had one son and two daughters. Her son named Do Xuan Kien is the eldest of their three children. He is a good-natured and painstaking person. When he was a student, he started to do hired labour. (What is hired labour?) After that he learned to drive a car and got married to Nguyen Thi Lan who lived in the neighboring village. In 2003, their first baby was born but soon they had to ask the paternal grandparents to take care of the kid so that they could go to the Southern (What does Southern mean here?) to work.
Their hard and hectic life would still go on if that day of fate hadn’t happened when Mrs. Lan gave birth to the second baby, Tra My. The doctor informed Mrs. Lan of being HIV infected. She was led to a local hospital, but then the doctor was afraid of carrying out Mrs. Lan’s deliver. Thus, she was moved to another place. All members in her family were shocked; the grandmother’s son Mr. Kien, his wife Mrs. Lan and their two daughters were HIV infected. “When my son Mr. Kien went home, as a parent like me, I just hugged him with heart-breaking and bewailed Kien‘s lot. I do not know why my family is in such a distress” – Mrs. Toi said in a shocked voice.
And this disease would take further lives: In April 2006, her son Mr. Kien died, at the end of the year her youngest child died too and in 2007 her son’s wife Mrs. Lan also died. Until now the grandmother Mrs. Toi does not know clearly the reason why her descendants became HIV infected. “One after another my descendants have gone and never come back to the old woman like me, so I live without meaning! I just want to go with them but I think of my single niece, Tra My. If I die who will take care of her?” –she said and cried bitterly.
Mr. Trinh Van Nam, leader of Hamlet told: “When Tra My was 4 years old, nobody had dared to nourish her because they were afraid of getting HIV. She had been moved to the orphanage but they did not accept her because of her disease. Then she had been moved from commune to commune and finally taken back to Halmet. Some people did love her but they were needy. They sometimes gave her rice, vegetables and fishes. As Tra My is a child of below average intelligence, so many people keep away from her and several forbid their children to make friends with her.”
Not even the maternal grandparents had dared to come close to her, except that they gave her some clothes on Tet (What does “Tet” mean?) vacation. Afterwards, the health cadre wholeheartedly had encouraged the paternal grandmother to nourish her, and she agreed. Tra My just has a paternal grandmother and her teddy bear to make friends. They lean on each other in the small and solitary house, where they live, which is set on a hill. Grandmother Mrs. Toi is often sick. She stays awake all night because of the poor child, Tra My who said in confidence: “If I had parents just like my friends, my grandmother would not be unhappy.”
Tra My goes to school. The first day no one had wanted to sit next to her but the teacher had explained thoroughly the facts, and since then the students treated her exceptionally well. However, Tra My has a complex about her destiny so she seats silently at the back of the class. Mr. Duong Viet Trung – director of class 3A, Hop Ly primary school said: “Tra My is an obedient child. On her first day at school she was fearful of getting in touch with anyone in class. But teachers always do love her and show consideration for her situation. Tra My is still studying in grade 3 now.”
She said spontaneously when asked about her dream: “I wish I were an excellent doctor to cure everybody with HIV like me, and my parents and my sister wouldn’t have died.” She has to struggle for her life day after day. Now, the precious property in her house is an old bicycle which Mr. Kien had bequeathed in order to meet and see off Tra My and four times a month Mrs. Toi regularly rides over 10 kilometers to take medicine for Tra My. Her two daughters live in Quang Tri city and seldom visit Mrs. Toi so they cannot help her.
Mr. Trinh Van Nam said more: “Mr. Toi is in extremely hard circumstances. Although, authorities make policy to support her 480 000 VNĐ every month (30 USD) the living conditions are still hard.”
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