A family from Vietnam is racing to save the life of one toddler diagnosed with a rare medical condition.
Recently, 20-month-old Tran Nguyen Khang was diagnosed with Hyper IgM syndrome, a rare genetic disorder of the immune system. His mother, Dam Thi Hai Hoan, described how he was “traumatized” by treatments.
The 34-year-old bank teller said (via The Straits Times):
“He’s very traumatized. There are times when he just starts crying and shouting, ‘Stop taking blood! No injection!'”
Patients with Hyper IgM syndrome are susceptible to recurrent and severe infections. Signs and symptoms reportedly appear during the first or second year of life and may include chronic diarrhea, failure to grow and gain weight at an expected rate, malabsorption of nutrients and autoimmune problems affecting the blood.
In Khang’s case, signs did not appear until he caught a light fever four months ago. Mrs. Hoan believed it was just “a minor illness, like a sore throat or virus children catch.”
Apparently, things are much worse than she thought. Khang went to several hospitals and received “very high” doses of antibiotics, but his fever only escalated.
At this point, Mrs. Hoan was desperate for a cure. She traveled to Singapore with her husband, and after some trips, found that her son had the rare disease:
“I couldn’t comprehend the problem at the time. When I learnt what it was, my whole body felt weak.”
Later, the family learned that Khang’s only cure is bone marrow transplant, which comes at the hefty price of SGD $200,000 (USD $144,000). Mrs. Hoan decided to look for help in the open, launching a campaign on the crowdfunding site GIVEasia:
“I pray every time of every day that God will help my poor boy, will bring him back to health, and I can see his happy smile. Any help from you is very precious to us. Thank you so much.”
So far, Khang’s campaign was able to raise SGD $260,116 (USD $187,000). Mrs. Hoan expressed gratitude for the donations and promised to provide an update on her son’s progress.
She plans to donate the remaining funds after covering the cost of Khang’s treatment.