Story of Minh Lam, the boy of courage
Lam is 5 years old. The happiness of his birth was soon ruined by the doctor’s diagnosis. He has cerebral palsy and quadriplegia, which means that Lam is paralyzed in all four of his limbs. Lam has been doing physical therapy in a children hospital since he was just 9 months old and, in his mother words, Lam’s upper limb functions have improved 80% over the last 4 years. However, Lam can only sit at home and watch his brother and friends play, and he can barely communicate with his family members because of low level of cognition since his mother herself didn’t know a appropriate method to teach him. Although Lam was medically certified to have similar brain function as other children his age, he was rejected by almost every kindergarten. That’s why his mother was so happy to learn about our “Community-based Rehabilitation and Inclusive Education for Children with Mobility Impairment” project because not only can Lam get physiotherapy here but also early intervention and inclusive education. His mother has given up her job to become Lam’s full-time caregiver. She takes him to school and they study together at home. She is also his physiotherapist at home and she teaches him about the world around him and preschool skills (with the guidance of professional technicians). After 5 months of continuous hard work, Lam can now walk on his knees, draw, write, do math, sing, spell words and be aware of things around him. He can now talk to his big brother about their school days, while before he could only listen to his brother telling him about school. Lam now can confidently play around and communicate with people. Lam is an empathetic and loving child and he brings laughs to everyone in the shelter where he comes for therapy. He is the motivation for other children and parents in the project. Lam’s mother believes that their work will pay off when Lam can join his friends in primary school, and that’s what we aim for in this project. *Note: Names have been changed to protect the family’s privacy.