MOi Patient Update: Quan Bien
On their family farm in the hills of northern Vietnam, the parents of Quan Bien were concerned for their son’s future. Thanks to MOi-sponsored surgery 10 years ago, Quan is no longer being held back by his disability.
Born with severe bilateral clubfoot that had not been treated, Quan’s parents’ concern was well-founded. Infants with clubfoot can be successfully treated non-surgically with a series of casts followed by a brace (the Ponseti method), but children with untreated clubfoot – known as “neglected” clubfoot – must walk on the outer edges of their feet, leading to a lifetime of pain and severely limited mobility.
Quan was 18 years old when he arrived at Son La Provincial Hospital in 2007, hoping to meet the visiting surgeons from Mobility Outreach International who were there conducting the annual MOi foot clinic. When a shy and seemingly embarrassed Quan finally approached them about having the surgery, he told Seattle-based surgeons Dr. Robert Veith and Dr. Mark Dales that his education was limited and his prospects in life were extremely bleak. He felt that his whole life was being held back by his disability.
Determined that Quan would have a better quality of life, the surgical team operated first on his right foot, and his left the following year. Recovery from each surgery was slow, and with the help of several months of physical therapy, the end result has been phenomenal. In November 2016, an MOi team visited Quan at his workplace, and since his initial corrective surgeries 10 years ago, Quan has finished trade school and is now an automobile mechanic. He married last April, and he and his wife are expecting their first child next spring.