Thursday, May 28, 2009

10 lbs Tumor girl is 17th bed ridden

A 10-kilogram tumor on seventeen-year-old Pham Thi Xinh’s leg keeps her in bed all day, her skinny body getting thinner, breathing becoming more difficult.

“I wish I could recover and go to school again. I miss my friends and school so much,” the former eighth grader at Ngo Sy Lien Secondary School in Da Nang says in obvious pain.

Her dream of returning to school and becoming an artist grows all the more distant each day as the malignant cartilage tumor that surfaced in 2007 continues to develop.

Treatment for the would-be fatal tumor costs around VND200 million (US$11,250), something Xinh’s poor family simply can’t afford.

Her father, Pham Tam, is a construction worker and her mother collects scrap materials on the street. They earn a total of around VND70,000 ($4) per day to raise the child and her two siblings.

Tam said his daughter’s first symptoms began in October 2007 when she returned from school complaining of fever, fatigue and pain in her left thigh.

The family admitted her to Da Nang Hospital weeks later after the pain became worse and the thigh swelled.

After two months of treatment, she was transferred to the Traumatology and Orthopedics Hospital in Ho Chi Minh City, where doctors diagnosed her with a malignant cartilage tumor.

The family brought her back to Da Nang a month later because they couldn’t afford the hospital fees.

“She’s been in bed ever since then,” Tam said, adding that it pained him to be so short on money that sometimes he couldn’t afford even a cup of milk for his sick daughter.

He said the girl’s only hope would be outside philanthropy.

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