Vietnamese girls celebrate after receiving treatment for elephantiasis

Two Vietnamese girls receive successful surgical treatment for the treatment of elephantiasis in Taichung

(By Central News Agency)

Taipei, July 24 -- Two Vietnamese girls celebrated their new life at the China Medical University Hospital (CMUH) in Taichung on Monday, after receiving successful surgical treatment for the treatment of elephantiasis.

The hospital held a birthday party for Loan, a 13-year-old Vietnamese girl who first came to Taiwan several years ago for treatment provided by a medical team led by Chen Hung-chi (陳宏基), director of CMUH's International Medical Center.

Loan was joined by another patient from Vietnam, a 12-year-old girl surnamed Le. Together, they celebrated the new chance at life the surgery has given them.

Chen recalled that Loan weighed 25 kilograms when he first met her at the hospital three years ago, at which time her abnormally swollen leg weighed 15 kg.

At that time she was suffering from severe lymphatic vascular malformations, which affected her spleen and lower body, Chen said.

It took eight surgical operations in four stages to remove the extensive lesion site on Loan's left leg and reconstruct the affected area, he noted.

In contrast to her sick and pale appearance three years ago when she first came to Taiwan, Loan now has bright rosy cheeks and will return home on July 26.

The success of Loan's case prompted Le's parents to take her to the hospital for treatment, as she was suffering from a similar malformations on her right leg and she was also treated by Chen, according to the CMUH.

Addressing the party, Chen gave a special thank you to the Hong Fu Industrial Group (宏福實業), which has deep roots in Vietnam, for its generous donations which paid for the expensive medical treatment for Loan.

At the birthday party, Loan told nursing staff at the hospital "I want to ride a bicycle and have fun." She has also previously said that she wants to grow up to be a doctor and help others.

Loan also said she will always be grateful for the sponsorship from Hong Fu, which has changed her life, the hospital said.