Thursday, August 28, 2008

Miracle baby of Vietnam' visits US for surgery

Miracle baby of Vietnam' visits US for surgery

'Miracle baby of Vietnam' visits US for surgery
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By KOMO Staff

SEATTLE -- Surgeons are lining up to help a so-called "miracle baby of Vietnam."

The child survived the jungle for several days after wild animals attacked him. And the people who meet the 2 year old call him an inspiration.

Thien Nhan was abandoned at birth and nearly killed by dangerous animals. But he's come a long way since.

On Thursday he landed at Sea-Tac Airport en route to the East Coast where surgeons await.

Hours on a jet crossing the Pacific hardly wore down the spirits of the boy and his adoptive parents. There was not a single shadow on their faces when they landed at Sea-Tac International Airport.

"I'm very excited and I look forward to see what happens," said Tran Mai Anh, the boy's adoptive mother.

The toddler has become a small celebrity in Vietnam. The animal attacks have left him disfigured for life, but the child beat the odds and captured the heart of a nation. And coming to America is a chance for a new start.

"It's a huge opportunity for him to have the medical treatment here," Anh said.

Thien's biological mother left him to die in the jungle just hours after he was born.

"We thought some wild dogs probably mauled him. And then when he was found, he was covered with blood and ants," said Son Pham of Kids Without Borders, a non-profit organization that helps children all over the world.

The animals ate his leg and left horrible wounds. But Thien hung on for three days in that condition until monks stumbled upon him and rushed him to help.

"It's a miracle that not only is he alive, but he's just wonderful," Pham said.

The child hasn't lost his smile or that fighting spirit.

"Everything he want do do by himself," Anh said.

Thien and his adoptive parents are headed to New Hampshire then to Chicago, where surgeons will operate on him and try to give him a normal life.

Adoption is unusual in Vietnam, but his mother says when she heard the boy's story, she didn't think twice.

"I feel so happy," she said.

Kids Without Borders is hosting Thien and his parents during their 3-day stay in the Seattle area.

The surgery he'll receive on the East Coat will be tough, and likely the first of many to come. But for now, the new family has no worries.

"I feel so happy," Anh couldn't help saying several times.

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