Little “Angel” donates cornea

VietNamNet Bridge – A 12-year-old girl in Hanoi has decided to donate her cornea to people who could use it before taking her last breath on Monday.

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A doctor conducts the surgery to take Nhi’s cornea. — Photo courtesy of the Viet Nam National Co-ordinating Centre for Human Organ Transplantation


Nguyen Van Nhi became the third youngest person to make such donation in Vietnam. She passed away after nine days of treatment at the Hanoi-based Viet Nam 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 Viet Nam National Coordinating Centre for Human Organ Transplantation, praised the donation as a humanitarian act, saying Nhi’s cornea would bring light to others.

Earlier this year, Nguyen Hai An, 7, from Hanoi’s Nam Tu Liem District, decided to give her cornea to people who could use it.

A survey conducted by K Hospital showed that 300,000 people needed a cornea transplant, but only 100-150 people received a cornea each year due to a national shortage of donors.

Source: VNS

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