Vietnamese cancer patient returns home

Thanks to the outstanding effort of the Vietnamese government, citizens of the country have been able to feel relatively safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, those who live abroad have found themselves stranded on foreign soil, unable to return to their loved ones.

In the spirit of “leaving no one behind”, and with the situation calming down over the past couple of weeks, the Vietnamese government has been facilitating flights to bring Viet people stranded overseas home. Among them is a young woman who was diagnosed with final stage lung cancer. Her story has touched the hearts of many netizens.

Stranded overseas with final-stage cancer

At only 26 years of age, Minh Anh was diagnosed with final-stage lung cancer
Image credit: Pha Lê

Đặng Thị Minh Anh, 26, had been studying in Osaka, Japan since 2014. In January 2020, however, she started coughing up blood for several days and was diagnosed with final-stage lung cancer. Because of that, she had to postpone her plan of coming home for the Lunar New Year, staying in Japan for treatment instead.

Minh Anh intended to book another flight back to Vietnam again when she felt better, but with the COVID-19 pandemic hitting the world in February, she didn’t get the chance to do so, and her family also couldn’t go to Japan either.

As her condition began to worsen in early April, though, her doctor suggested that she look for a way to return to her family while her health still allowed it. Her family then sent a plea to the Vietnam Embassy in Japan, and on 22nd April, she finally got a seat on a flight arranged by the Vietnamese government to bring Vietnamese people stranded in Japan home.

She got married to her Japanese boyfriend before leaving

Minh Anh married her boyfriend in Japan just a few days before she returned to Vietnam
Image credit: Nâu Mia

However, coming home during the COVID-19 pandemic meant that Minh Anh would have to be separated from Matsushita Motosuke, her boyfriend of 2 years who had been nothing but loving and supportive to her throughout the entire ordeal. Due to travel bans, Matsushita would only be able to come to Vietnam when the pandemic situation is improved.

Matsushita couldn’t bear to let her go, so he proposed to her right there in the hospital in Japan, and the two of them held a small wedding on 18th April, just a few days before she returned to Vietnam.

“I didn’t get to wear the perfect wedding dress I had always dreamed of, only a cheap one bought from a supermarket. The ceremony wasn’t in a romantic garden as I had imagined, but in a small hospital room. My friends and family couldn’t come, and only the doctors and nurses were there to share the joy. Yet I’m still extremely happy,” Minh Anh wrote on her Facebook page.

Netizens are touched

Minh Anh always stayed positive despite her condition
Image credit: Nâu Mia

Minh Anh’s story and the image of the young woman always beaming despite her critical health condition have touched the hearts of many netizens. When her story was shared on Beatvn, a popular Facebook page among Vietnamese youth, it raked in over 10,000 likes. Hundreds of users also commented on the thread to wish her all the best.

“There’s no place like home. Always keep that smile on your face,” netizen Vũ Xuân Phong commented.

Image credit: Ký Sự Đường Phố – BEATVN

“What a positive smile. Hope you pull through this,” another Facebook user named Ds Duy wrote.

Image credit: Ký Sự Đường Phố – BEATVN

Vietnam leaves no one behind

It is heartening to see that the Vietnamese government is doing its best to help more people stranded abroad return home safely. And we are glad that Minh Anh has made it back to her family despite her health condition. We wish her all the best.

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Cover image adapted from Pha Lê, Nâu Mia

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