Life isn’t always fair. Many times, we face struggles that are too big for us to be able to overcome and it feels like there is no way out, but God always finds a way to show us that not everything is lost.
Ngo Quy Hai is a 27-year-old man who has lived most of his life hidden from the rest of the world. The reason why is because he’s a burn survivor who has been conscious of the stares by the people from his surrounding.
When the horrible incident took place, Hai, who is from Vietna, was still just a toddler. It all happened when he was pushing a baby walker to the kitchen and accidentally fell into an open wood stove. The burns he suffered were more than severe, but he managed to survive.
“Baby walkers were common back then and there wasn’t knowledge about how dangerous they can be,” Hai explained.
He was rushed to the Children’s Hospital 1 in Saigon where he spent two long years.
Surgeries followed one after another, but despite everything, he was still left with scaring all over his body and face. What’s most, he struggled with mental trauma both because of the accident itself and because he was bullied by other children because of 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.”
Living a life in solitude was hard. Hai fell behind with his studies and felt devastated, but he then met a friend who understood exactly how he felt.
“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.”
With the help of his friend, who has disabilities, Hai managed to gather the courage to pursue his dream of owning a bakery. In fact, this dream was born as a result of an incident during which his friend was kicked out of a fancy bakery he wanted to visit for a 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 explained. “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.”
When he shared his dream with his family, they were all very supportive. Hai then attended a hospitality training at a school in Hanoi and was ready to face the world after years of hiding.
He says that opening a bakery has been the best thing that has ever happened to him as it helped him with his confidence.
“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.”
Hai’s story is so inspiring because it reminds us that we should always believe in our abilities no matter what and that we should try and love ourselves for who we are.
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Love and Peace