Le Thi Nhung, 29, drove a car for 32 hours covering a distance of 1,200km to take poor patients back to their homes.
|Nhung has so far taken about 20 patients back home covering a total distance of more than 6,000km. — Photo Vietnamnet.vn|
Driving a car for a long distance can be a challenge for professional drivers, let alone an amateur like Nhung.
But she made it.
Nhung is a member of a volunteer group that offers a free car service to take patients treated in Hanoi back to their hometowns.
With a love of driving and willingness to help patients, Nhung, who lives in northern Bac Ninh Province where she runs a coffee shop, applied to join the group last year and was accepted.
Since then she has taken about 20 patients back home covering a total distance of over 6,000km.
Her longest trip was 1,200km made on July 21 when she took a mother and a daughter from Vietnam-Cuba Hospital in Hanoi to Muong Te District, in the northern province of Lai Chau.
This was also her most memorable trip, not only because of the difficult roads, but also because of a tragic incident on the way.
“The mother and the daughter had car sickness. But they cannot speak the Kinh language, so they just hugged each other and almost did not communicate with anyone.
“When going through a COVID checkpoint, the policemen thought that I was kidnapping them. I had to explain and give them documents to prove what was happening. After knowing that I was taking the patients home, they allowed me to go through,” Nhung told vietnamnet.vn
|Nhung (right) drives 1,200km to take a mother and her daughter from Hanoi to their hometown in Muong Te District, in the northern mountainous province of Lai Chau. — Photo Vietnamnet.vn|
Nhung’s younger brother often offers to go with her on long trips. But she is also more than ready to drive alone.
One night, when Nhung was about to go to sleep, she received a call from the voluntary group founder saying that there was a mother and a daughter stranded in Hanoi that wanted to go back home in the northern province of Son La.
Nhung did not hesitate and went to pick them up immediately.
As Hanoi is applying social distancing measures, coaches and taxis are not allowed to operate and personal vehicles cannot enter the city. Nhung’s group had to make a plan to divide their trip to Son La into smaller trips and transfer the patients at checkpoints between cities and provinces.
At 4am on August 8, Nhung drove from Bac Ninh Province to pick up the mother and the daughter at a checkpoint near Hanoi on National Highway 1B.
As she could not enter the capital city, she had to take an alternative route to Phu Tho through Hoa Binh. When they reached Son La, the mother and the daughter were transferred to another car to complete their journey.
“During the social distancing period, members living outside Hanoi like me have to work harder to support members in the capital city who can not leave. The group has strictly followed pandemic protocols and takes COVID tests regularly,” Nhung said.
Each trip is a memorable experience.
Nhung also recalls a memorable experience driving to Lao Cai on New Year's Eve this year.
She left home on December 31 to take patients to Si Ma Cai District and came back to her house in Bac Ninh at 8am the next morning.
“The thankfulness and smile of the family were the greatest New Year present to me,” she said.
“By chance this job has given me a lot of experience. I have met and helped many people. I also witnessed with my own eyes the extreme hardships and misfortunes that I had only seen in movies before.”
Aside from taking patients back home, Nhung has also donated money to help disadvantaged patients.
“I want to call for help from kind-hearted drivers to support disadvantaged passengers not only during the trip but also after,” Nhung said.
Source: Vietnam News/VNN
Wearing stuffy protective suits and climbing into cabins with antiseptic odors, the crew kickstarts the engine to prepare food and meals to send to quarantine areas and field hospitals.
According to the Ministry of Health, by 6pm on July 26, the number of volunteers registered to assist HCM City's fight against the pandemic was over 2,000, including nearly 1,900 people in HCM City and over 200 people from other provinces.
Hundreds of doctors have joined the Facebook group ‘Giup nhau mua dich’ (helping each other) to assist people during the Covid-19 pandemic.