Man denied birthday cake as kid due to his burn scars, opens his own bakery
We all have our struggles in life – dreams unfulfilled, ambitions unachieved. But sometimes, it’s important to slow down and appreciate what we do have. For even things most of us take for granted, such as a healthy, unmarred body, can be the subject of envy for many.
Ngô Quý Hải, a man from Vietnam, can attest to that. After an accident he suffered as a kid left him with terrible burn scars on his face, Hải was shunned by many people around him, even getting denied service and kicked out when he came to a bakery to buy a cake for his friend’s birthday.
But rather than letting that childhood experience defeat him, the 27-year-old man took it as motivation and went on to open his own bakery, where everyone could feel welcome.
Here’s his inspiring story.
The man suffers burn scars after a childhood accident
Channeling his childhood pain into action, Hải now owns a bakery where all could be welcome
Image credit: VNExpress
Ngô Quý Hải, from Kon Tum Province, Vietnam, was born with a healthy body like any other’s. Unfortunately, an accident befell him when he was barely a year old, leaving him permanently scarred. Due to the severe burn marks on his face, Hải was shunned and ridiculed by most of his peers, to the point where he had to drop out of school at only 6.
Hải then spent most of his childhood at home, his only friend a hearing-impaired neighbor kid. “We kept each other company, because no one else would,” the now-27-year-old man told VNExpress.
Hải’s insecurity was only made worse by a sad experience he went through at 10. That year, on his only friend’s birthday, Hải visited a bakery hoping to get a cake. Yet, as soon as the staff at the bakery saw his burn scars, they called the security to escort him out, heedless of his pleas.
For many years afterward, Hải continued to live his life in isolation. As he told VNExpress, there was a time when he considered giving up. It wasn’t until 2016 that things took a turn for the better.
He was motivated after receiving kindness from others
He got surgery in Germany in 2016
Image credit: VNExpress
That year, a charity organization funded Hải a trip to Germany for a surgery that helped with his facial movements. It was the kindness he received from medical workers and fellow burn victims during his time there that inspired Hải to strive for a better future.
Upon returning home, the man applied for a cooking course at a vocational school, where, for the first time in his life, he felt included.
“All of my classmates had their own difficult backgrounds. They sympathized with me and accepted me, and I no longer felt left out,” he said.
Learning wasn’t easy for Hải at first, however. As the man never got an education as a kid, he had to put in extra effort to catch up on how to read and write. But eventually, with determination, he graduated from the vocational school, and went on to work in several restaurants to hone his cooking skills.
Earlier this year, the man finally achieved his dream of opening his bakery, Sunhouse Coffee in Kom Tum. He shared that it was a goal he had harbored since his childhood. He wanted a place where all could feel welcome, regardless of their situation.
Embrace yourself for who you are
We can only imagine the pain Hải went through, but it warms our heart to see that he’s back on his feet and is contributing to society in meaningful ways.
Let his story inspire us all to appreciate what we have, and embrace ourselves for who we are.
For those of you interested in popping by his cafe to grab a bite, here it is:
Address: 801 Hùng Vương, Plei Cần, Ngọc Hồi, Kon Tum
Opening hours: 6AM-10PM, Daily
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Cover image adapted from VNExpress