Dad breaks the Covid-19 law to buy oxygen tank for son


On 26th July, Saigon entered the first day of curfew, starting at 6PM and ending at 6AM. Under the new restriction, residents aren’t allowed to emerge from their homes during this time of the day except those on emergent trips. Any violation will result in an administrative penalty.

Though aware of the consequences of breaking the curfew, a Saigon dad had no choice but to be on the streets as the curfew hour drew closer. As a result, he was pulled over by patrol officers.

What started as a Covid-19 violation turned into an encounter that melted the hearts of the officers and has inspired millions of fellow citizens. 

Here’s how the story unfolded.


Dad violates Covid-19 curfew to buy oxygen tank for ill child


oxygen tank
Image credit: Thanh Nien

On 26th July, patrol officers filled the streets to detect and deal with violations. Among the commuters pulled over by the police was a scooter rider in his 40s. 

After being stopped at Hoang Van Thu Park in Tan Binh District, the sweaty man approached the police officers with teary eyes.

On the back of his scooter were 2 bottles of disinfectant and an oxygen tank.

According to Thanh Nien, the man was Le Dinh Van, a resident of Pham Van Dong Street. He was on his way to buy an oxygen tank for his 14-year-old child who was battling a malignant liver tumor.

His son had gone for liver surgery at the hospital in April last year, but the illness has recurred. As his health condition worsened rapidly, the doctors advised the family to bring the kid home.

Over the past year, oxygen tanks have become the kid’s lifeline. A 40Kg oxygen tank that costs VND400,000 (~USD17.39) lasts about 24 hours. 

Both Van and his wife lost their jobs during the pandemic and are now taking turns to take care of their son. For a family struggling to make ends meet, buying an oxygen tank almost on a daily basis is a daunting challenge. 

oxygen tank
Image credit: Thanh Nien

To prove his story, he showed police officers a phone showing his son lying next to an oxygen tank. 


Police officers are moved by his situation


Seeing Van’s son lying on the bed, the police officers at the scene were deeply touched. They offered him words of encouragement and advised him to find a way to be home by 6PM. 

Moved by police officers’ compassion and encouragement, Van got teary-eyed.

He said, “Thank you very much. I know the rules but I had to break it to save my son.” 

Before riding his scooter home, Van kept thanking the officers for their understanding. 


Netizens are keen to support his family


After the story went live, it has garnered tremendous attention from netizens.

In the comment section under the article, many readers have expressed their wishes to help Van’s family.

oxygen tank
Image credit: Thanh Nien

Reader Lão gàn commented, “If the writer has the contact of the father, kindly disclose it so that we can support him. Thank you!”

oxygen tank
Image credit: Thanh Nien

“If Van happens to read this message, please go to Van Tan Phat Company in Xuan Thoi Son, Hoc Mon in Saigon. We’ll offer you free oxygen tanks 24/7. I’d like to reiterate that any charity ambulance or families in need are entitled to 300 free oxygen tanks per day. Contact me at 0964.626.485.” Reader Thế Nhân offered a generous donation.

oxygen tank
Image credit: Thanh Nien

“If possible, please disclose his contact. We can all chip in and help within our capacity. We can donate groceries and some gifts to the family. The intact leaves protect the tattered ones.” Reader Lưu Minh Nhật commented. 


Be thankful and appreciative of your parents’ support


Over the past few weeks, Saigon’s streets are as deserted as they ever get after sunset. Amid the rainy weather and dark streets, Van’s love for his son shone like a diamond. He was well aware of the consequences of breaking the curfew, but he still proceeded because he prioritized his son’s well-being over his.

We hope that this touching story about Van’s journey to sustaining his son’s life will remind you to appreciate your parents and their silent sacrifices more.  

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Cover image adapted from: Thanh Nien

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