RSA Review article about Vietnamese orphan, 1968

Newspaper article about Chu - a Vietnamese orphan cared for by the New Zealand Services Medical Team (NZSMT).

Transcript of article

In our photograph on the right, Staff Sergeant Ken Treanor, of Burnham, plays with a little orphaned Vietnamese girl in a ward at the Save the Children Fund Hospital at Qui Nhon, South Vietnam.

Staff Sergeant Treanor makes regular visits to see the girl because, to the New Zealand Services Medical Team at Bong Son, she is something of a special patient.

Surgeon-Lieutenant Commander G.M. Goodson, former leader of the Services Medical Team, first noticed the little girl sitting in the shade of a tree near the gateway of the hospital.

She was there every morning to wave to the commander when he drove up and though he did not have time to stop and talk to her, he considered her a special friend.

Then one day, the commander arrived at the gate to find the little girl missing. Puzzled, he made some inquiries about her but no one could tell him where she was.

Later in the morning, when he was checking through the patients who were awaiting treatment at the surgery, he was surprised to find his tiny friend sitting on the floor among other patients.

It was then he realised why she was always seated. She had a bad hip deformity which had crippled her. On investigation, it was found that both the little girl's parents had been killed in the war and was being looked after by an elderly relative.

Commander Goodson took the child into his care and operated on her to correct the deformity. He transferred her to the Save the Children Hospital at Qui Nhon for specialised nursing until she learns to walk.

Whenever a "Tan Tay Lan" (New Zealander) enters the ward, she squeals with delight. The soldiers have a difficult time extracting themselves from her embrace. Where she will go after she has recovered is not known. Beds are at a premium at the hospital and she cannot stay there. The Kiwis are trying to find her a good home in Qui Nhon.

Reference: 

Article from RSA Review (1968). Courtesy Ken Treanor

How to cite this page: 'RSA Review article about Vietnamese orphan', URL: http://www.vietnamwar.govt.nz/photo/rsa-review-article-about-vietnamese-orphan, (Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated 28-Apr-2011