It seems that every day we’re inundated with tragedy via news sites and social media. Bad news sells, we all know this, and yet I can’t help but get a bad taste in my mouth when I reflect upon the fact that we don’t do more to change that. It’s with this in mind that we, here at Newsner, are committed to giving you the good with the bad; the inspirational with the sad. In this story, you’ll get a bit of both. It concerns a burn survivor, 27-year-old Ngo Quy Hai, who today owns a prize bakery in the city of Kon Tum, Vietnam, where he was born. Yet his life wasn’t always so positive. Far from it, in fact …
Hai was only a toddler when a terrible accident would change the course of his life forever. As per reports, he was pushing a baby walker in the kitchen when he accidentally fell into an open wood stove, resulting in serious burns to a large portion of his body. “Baby walkers were common back then and there wasn’t knowledge about how dangerous they can be,” Hai explained. After the accident, Hai was rushed to Children’s Hospital 1 in Saigon. He stayed there for a total of their two years, undergoing treatments and intensive care to save his life. This poor little boy was forced to endure numerous reconstructive surgeries, but even so, he was left with scarring that served as a permanent reminder of the most painful day of his life. What’s more, Hai had suffered significant mental trauma as a result of the accident. When he left the hospital, he was bullied for his looks. “I felt alone growing up and didn’t have many friends,” he explained. “I felt ostracized from society. When I tried to find work, I was mocked and ridiculed. I didn’t leave my house at one point for almost two years.” We can scarcely imagine how tough Hai’s journey has been. Two whole years without even leaving the house – it’s just simply heartbreaking. As a result of his two-year absence, Hai fell behind in his studies. However, he did manage to find a friend he was able to bond with, one who also had disabilities.
Sometimes I think it is fate that brought us together,” Hai said of his new friend. “We’ve played together since we were very young and have experienced many joys and sorrows as we both shared the same sadness that no one wanted to play with us.”
Through all the pain and sorrow, Hai held onto one dream above all else: he wanted to open a bakery. This came as a direct result of he and his friend having once been kicked out of a bakery they had wanted to visit for a long, long time. “We were very poor so our clothes weren’t as fancy as some people’s and they didn’t listen to our explanation either. They chased us away,” Hai said. “It was humiliating. But it’s an experience that has made me who I am today. It made me know in my heart what I wanted to do. I was going to open up my own bakery so I could bake delicious and beautiful cakes and serve good food to everyone, whether they be rich or poor. I would not discriminate; everyone would be welcome.”
With his family’s support, he was put through hospitality training school in Hanoi. Moreover, Hai achieved his dream of opening his bakery, mere years after resigning himself to staying indoors, too afraid to show his face. “It was lovely to see so many smiling faces,” he said. “I see a lot of children on the streets selling lottery tickets and I always invite them in for a piece of cake. We don’t know the hardships others have faced. Be kind.
“It’s my dream now to help others through similar hardships that I have been through. It is by giving back that one can make a difference in society.” What an inspirational young man he really is. To have come through so much adversity and still be able to see the bright side of life. Please, share this article on Facebook if you want to send well wishes and love to Hai, and indeed to anyone else who might be facing similar struggles in their life.