Ly Bach Nha story:
In October of 2015, our cardiac mission team arrived at Can Tho Central Hospital to begin our inaugural work with the local cardiac team. Dr. Candace Dick (3rd from right), our cardiologist, met with a patient named Ly Bach Nha, whom Dr. Dick diagnosed with severe endocarditis. Ly Bach Nha had just been transferred from her provincial hospital of Soc Trang, but after further echocardiogram and lab work, the Impact Health Vietnam – Can Tho team of cardiac specialists concluded that she only had a few months to live and there was nothing more Can Tho physicians could do to save her. However, we were determined to find a way to save Ly Bach Nha’s life. She was the sole wage earner in her family as well as the primary caregiver to her ailing parents; her siblings were scattered throughout the country with families of their own to care for. After much deliberation by our team, we decided to have Ly Bach Nha join us at Kien Giang Hospital, the location of our next cardiac mission, in a last attempt to save her young life. Our doctors, alongside local surgeons from Cho Ray and Kien Giang, were scheduled to operate on several other open heart surgeries there. We asked Medtronic, a global leader in medical device sales, for a valve donation for Ly Bach Nha. Nine days after she was admitted to Kien Giang Hospital, she finally received the lifesaving operation. Medtronic, our generous supporter, donated one of the two valves to the patient upon our request.
Ly Bach Nha continued to do well and upon discharge from Kien Giang Hospital four weeks after her surgery, she was able her work on the rice fields to support her elderly parents. She received a clean bill of health from our traveling mission doctors in 2016, when we returned to Can Tho Central Hospital for another cardiac mission.
In September of 2016, we returned to Can Tho Central Hospital for our second annual training visit, where we were reunited with Ly Bach Nha during a follow up visit. We are happy to report that her health has been restored; she is back to working hard in the rice fields to support her parents and her cheeks are full and rosy. As an ethnic Khmer, she cannot speak fluent Vietnamese. She did, however, manage to express a few words of gratitude, her face beaming with health and happiness. Our collaborative efforts a year ago greatly impacted this woman’s life, thanks to the resilience of Can Tho and Kien Giang’s physicians, as well as the determination of our own mission specialists to save her life. A follow up echocardiogram by our own cardiac sonographer showed very positive results indicating that her heart is back to good health again. We hope one day we will cross paths with Ly Bach Nha again to share more good news and to celebrate her life.