Schoolboy works hard to overcome illness

Nguyen Duc Quan, a 12th grader in Hai Phong City, is determined to make his dreams come true despite suffering from brittle bone disease (osteogenesis imperfecta).

Schoolboy works hard to overcome illness
Nguyen Duc Quan is an example of overcoming fate. — Photo courtesy of Nguyen Duc Quan

His peers at Thai Phien High School admire the example he sets by working hard to overcome the disease and excel academically.

Osteogenesis imperfecta (OI) is a group of genetic disorders that mainly affect the bones. The term means imperfect bone formation and people with the condition can easily suffer broken bones.

Quan is very good at maths and dreams of becoming a technology engineer.

In December last year, he won first prize in Hai Phong City’s Science and Technology Contest for a project that used internet applications to build a maths self-learning model for high school students.

Quan’s mother, Tran Thi Thap, could not hide her pride for her son's achievement.

“Quan is my first child. When he was born, he broke his left arm,” Thap recalled.

“I felt painful when Quan was diagnosed with brittle bone disease,” the mother told giaoduc.net.vn.

At that time, Quan’s parents earned a modest income so they had to lend money from friends and relatives to bring him to many hospitals for treatment.

They also had to sell their small house for the cost of treatment in hopes of finding a miracle cure.

“However, we just received anxious eyes and sympathy of doctors,” Thap said.

“When at kindergarten age, we applied to many kindergartens for him. But he was refused because of the illness,” she recalled.

His mother had to quit her job and stay home to take care of the ill boy.

When he reached school age, although worrying for his health, his parents decided to send him to school.

The brittle bone disease made Quan weaker than his peers but he always tried not to miss any class.

His mother recalled that he was a very studious and hardworking boy.

"I knew that I just kept up with my friends when I made strong efforts," said Quan.

 

And he did not disappoint his parents.

During 12 years in school, Quan was recognised as an excellent student, but the disease led to incidents which hampered his efforts.

In the 9th grade, he attended a contest for excellent students. Unfortunately, he fell down in front of the examination room and broke his leg.

“At the moment, he knew his leg had a problem but he still struggled to complete the test before being admitted to the hospital,” his mother said.

In that contest, Quan got a perfect score.

The disease also makes Quan often suffer from respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, especially in cold weather.

Despite his poor health, Quan has never complained or expressed pessimism and always tries to improve his knowledge.

He has entered contests for English, maths and chess and often wins prizes.

In his teachers and peers’ eyes, Quan was a special student.

“Quan is a student with an optimistic spirit and strong energy to overcome fate,” said Pham Thu Ha, Quan’s teacher.

Quan always wanted to be treated the same as others, the teacher said.

Sharing his learning experiences, Quan said he tried his best to study hard.

“I am more passionate about maths and want to become an engineer of information technology,” Quan said.

“I just want to have better health so that I can live like my friends and my wish is to enrol in the Faculty of Information Technology of Hanoi University of Science and Technology.”  VNS

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