An 11-year-old Vietnamese boy suffering from a debilitating blood cancer fulfilled his dream of becoming a traffic policeman on what may be his last birthday this past weekend.
Do Tuan Dung’s long-cherished dream has become a reality thanks to the dedicated doctors and traffic police officers in the central city of Da Nang.
Dung, who resides in Lien Chieu District, was offered a wonderful surprise on the morning of his 11th birthday on Saturday.
Medical staff from the Da Nang Cancer Hospital, volunteers and officers from the city’s traffic police department (PC67), arrived early on Dung’s big day to prepare his birthday celebrations at the hospital.
Dung, whose hair has fallen off, is elated on his special birthday.
“Dung was elated at learning of the terrific news. He got a transfusion the previous day to ensure he would look his best on his important day,” Nguyen Thi Thu Huong, Dung’s mother, said.
Around 8:10 am, Dung was escorted downstairs from his hospital room before being helped by doctors and police officers to change into the yellow police uniform.
The frail boy, whose hair has fallen off following four chemotherapeutic sessions, wore a big, contented smile throughout his day though people observing nearby were on the brink of tears.
The policewomen then armed Dung with a walkie-talkie and put a pair of police shoes on him which fitted perfectly.
Police officers put police shoes on Dung’s feet.
Donning the police uniform, the little boy stood with his chest swollen with pride, waving at his mother and each of those present.
Colonel Le Ngoc, the PC67 chief, put a police horn around Dung’s neck before the two saluted each other like comrades.
The police boy was then helped to walk towards the police motorbike and car parked outside the hospital as the perfect culmination of his dream.
Dung (second right) proudly salutes along with some policewomen.
Proudly seated behind a police officer on the motorbike, Dung recited with precision slogans encouraging cyclists to conform to traffic rules, stopping for a few minutes at a time to regain his breath before continuing.
The group devised a role-play in which Dung stood on the street and manipulated the traffic flow with a club in his hand.
The doctors played motorcyclists who were pulled over and fined for failing to wear safety helmets.
Dung stops motorcyclists role-played by doctors who fail to put on safety helmets.
The dazzling smile never faded from the little boy’s face, even when he became fatigued.
“I’ve dreamed of becoming a traffic policeman to help those in distress,” he revealed.
Dung was diagnosed with blood cancer earlier this year.
“The diagnosis dealt us such a heavy blow that he and I did contemplate suicide. Nearly three years ago, my husband suddenly passed away, leaving me alone to care for Dung and his elder sibling,” Huong, Dung’s mom, said.
Dr. Le Na, of the Da Nang Cancer Hospital, said the chemotherapy sessions were excruciating for the little boy.
The staff tried to minimize his pain by asking him about his dream.
Learning of Dung’s dream, Dr. Na decided to write an email to Colonel Le Van Tam, director of the Da Nang City Police Department before it was too late.
Dung (center) was also given the privilege of “steering” a police automobile.
She said that she sent her email on November 17 without expecting to get a reply soon.
To her great surprise, she got a reply from the department only three days later.
Col. Tam quickly directed his divisions to try their best to realize Dung’s dream.
“This birthday celebration is far beyond a duty we are supposed to perform. We’re really thankful to Dung for bolstering our dedication to our jobs,” Captain Do Thi Hoai My, deputy head of the PC67’s Women Association, said.