A Father in Pain Finds Joy at a School for the Blind

February 14, 2017 • Vietnam
Vietnam School for the Blind

After losing his first son, a father deals with loss of his son’s eyesight and receives a blessing from Samaritan’s Purse.

Pham Ngoc Thao’s son attends Nguyen Dinh Chieu School for the Blind in Vietnam. He has received scholarships from Samaritan’s Purse.

Eighteen years ago, our first child died from drowning at the age of 9. A year later, my wife gave birth to Manh. He was a healthy and bright child until that day in 2006—when an incident happened that changed the life of my family. Manh was trying to fix a radio when it exploded, taking away his eyes. This accident disabled our active, intelligent boy, deepening the unhealed wound in our hearts.

No words can describe the pain of a father who had to dig a grave for his first son and then watch his second son lose his sight. That night, after the operation, I thought that I would never be able to look at Manh again because of how he was writhing in pain.

I will never forget that moment when he groped for his mother’s hand next to his bed and muttered, “Mom, I’m sorry for my mischief. Please help me. It hurts so much!”  From that moment, I swallowed all my tears. I had to be strong for Manh to live.

Ten years have passed, and Manh is now 17 years old. He’s healthy, educated, and can even use the computer and play the Vietnamese traditional two-stringed fiddle in the folk music band at Nguyen Dinh Chieu School. After all the excruciating pain I’ve experienced, I can enjoy the sweet happiness of seeing Manh performing music with his friends on TV. I’m proud that he’s healthy and virtuous.

School has been helpful for more than just education. Manh has also learned valuable life skills through monthly extracurricular activities organized by Samaritan’s Purse. These activities have helped him become independent. Even though he cannot see, he always tries to help us in daily chores such as cleaning the house, setting up the rice cooker, or drying the paddy.

It has been a long journey for my family. I know that the path ahead still contains difficulties, but it’s full of hope. I’m grateful for life and for Samaritan’s Purse for helping Manh and my family by providing him with monthly stipends, music classes, and training courses on living values. Thank you so much for all your kind support.