Chien takes his first steps

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Seven-year-old Chien from Vietnam received the ultimate gift this Christmas, life-changing surgery – allowing him to take his first ever steps.

Before this surgery, life for Chien was a stark contrast to the lives lived by most Australian children. 

Born with a condition known as clubfeet, Chien has NEVER walked.

For a child born in Australia, this condition would be self-corrected with the use of orthotics from birth and never require surgical intervention.

Sadly, this wasn’t the case for Chien.

The lack of required medical resources in Vietnam, coupled with limited financial means to access treatment from a young age – has meant that Chien’s condition has become worse as he has grown.

Chien’s parents are not present in his life. He lives with his grandmother in a remote northern Vietnamese village, an 8-hour drive from the nearest city.

During the school term, he lives with his teachers, hundreds of kilometres from home. His school friends carry him on their backs to help him get around.

Indoors, Chien uses his incredible upper body strength to scoot around, using his arms to lift, manouvre and move his body.

Thanks to Professor Ton Tran and the incredible team at St John of God Berwick Hospital, Chien has now had corrective surgery to both his feet and his right hip and has started to take his first steps.

Chien will soon return home, with a brighter future ahead of him.

If you’d like to help more children like Chien access surgery and treatment that will transform their lives, please give one extra gift this festive season by donating today.

Children First Foundation has been facilitating life-changing, sometimes life-saving surgery in Australia for disadvantaged children from developing countries since 1999. We believe that every child has a basic right to a healthy happy life regardless of where they are born


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