March 7, 2019
Here’s another story that I stumbled upon as I randomly wended my way through the interwebs.
In 2003, in the Quang Nam province of Vietnam, a young father strapped his wife and their 14-month old daughter to a home-made explosive device and lit the fuse. The ensuing explosion killed both adults instantly. The girl, Do Thi Thuy Phuong, was jettisoned more than 30 feet from the family hut. She was badly burned, shrapnel was embedded in her skull, and her feet were mangled. At the hospital, both her legs were surgically removed.
Her grandmother, unable to provide care for her, put her up for adoption.
Within 18 months, the young girl had been adopted by a family in Missouri, and became the newest member of what was now a family of nine.
At the age of ten, the girl, now known as Haven Shepherd, took up swimming.
By the age of 13, she was a national-caliber Paralympic swimmer.
Last summer, she competed with the American team in Italy. She is now training for the Paralympic trials with an eye toward competing in Japan in 2020.
The BBC account of this story can be found here.