Celebrating the Legacy of Nguyen Thanh Cu

On December 10, 2013 a split second mishap at a tennis court that my father would exercise at for the last 5 years has changed and altered my father's livelihood for the rest of his and all our lives.

My father, Cu Thanh Nguyen (age 67) a former Pilot for the Vietnam Air Force was warming up for a practice tennis session. He went for the ball and slipped on a ice water patch which made his foot plunge into the water ditch at the edge of the court . He twisted his foot and fell forward towards the metal post which immediately cut a deep gash across his forehead. The impact was so severe that his head snapped backwards, breaking his C3/C4 in his cervical spine. He was fortunate at the time to have a handful of his tennis buddies to help him stabilize while waiting for the ambulance. At that moment, he was immediately paralyzed from the shoulders down. After arriving to the ER, the doctor's operated on my father's neck to take out the C3/C4 fragments which crushed his spinal cord. The doctors told us to brace for the worse, that my father would be paralyzed for the rest of his life. It is a miracle that he had survived this accident.

As of today, my father is at a Rehabilitation Hospital. But we have been informed that the insurance company wants him to be taken home this coming February 13 because it no longer deems justified for my father to stay any longer. Still unable to move his hands, arms torso and legs, he will have to come home where he will continue to recover with the help of family. Insurance will only cover so much and provide us with the basics of medical necessities (bed, wheelchair, etc) but our family will have to cover the rest of what is to come in terms of providing further rehabilitation and the best quality of life we can afford.

My mother (age 70) has been retired and helps take care of 4 grand kids. As for myself, I have been promoting and fundraising for charities and small businesses for the last 5 years and now I find myself in a situation where I will have to utilize everything that I have worked for, my abilities, resources and connections to help my own family. A friend told us about this site and how it helped them raise funds for their own causes. At this point, not having the money when you need it, is an internal heart ache for anyone who needs to help their loved ones. I am foregoing work and committing myself full time for the next 3 years to be at my father's side to help him with his recovery. The amount we have set as our goal is a long term amount that will help with ongoing medical expenses, home modifications, and in-home nursing care. Within the next 2 weeks, we have to build a mechanical LIFT on the side entrance to our house that will help elevate my father into the house ~ estimated to cost between $4K to $6k. I have close to 5k friends on Facebook, if each person donates just $1, we will be able to get the LIFT. If we are lucky and receive more, than we are just dollars closer to our long term goal. My father's livelihood has been taken away, he is no longer able to do the basic things such as feed himself or even scratch his face. He will need 24/7 care going forward, all we want to do now is to give him the best quality of life so that he can keep his dignity.

We are reaching for the stars right now as any amount of donations received from you here will be greatly appreciated as no dollar amount is too small. If there is something more that you feel our family can do, please let us know as we are open to any and all suggestions.

Thank you for reading our story,

The NGUYEN family.

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Cathy Truc 
San Jose, CA
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