Nguyen Van Nhi (Photo courtesy of her family)
Nguyen Van Nhi took her last breath after nine days of treatment at the Hanoi-based Vietnam National Hospital of Pediatrics. Her death was caused by laryngeal papillomatosis, a rare medical condition in which benign tumors form along the aerodigestive tract.
Diagnosed with the disease at two years old, Nhi was last hospitalised on June 23 due to breathing problems and high fever. Her condition worsened, with doctors predicting she might not make it. Her mother decided to donate the girl’s cornea and this decision was supported by the entire family.
The little girl agreed to donate her cornea on her hospital bed before losing consciousness.
Nguyen Huu Hoang, Director of the Vietnam National Coordinating Centre for Human Organ Transplantation, praised the donation as a humanitarian act, saying Nhi’s cornea will bring light to others.
Earlier this year, Nguyen Hai An, 7, from Hanoi’s Nam Tu Liem district, before passing away in her K Hospital sickbed, decided to give her cornea to people who could use it.
A survey by K hospital showed up to 300,000 people need a cornea transplant, but only 100-150 people receive a cornea each year due to a national shortage of donors.