Friday, December 14, 2007

Remember this

Caring for Ngoc has been the dominant activity at Blue Dragon this week; but we’ve certainly had lots of other things going on as well. Thursday was our monthly celebration, when we remember all the kids’ birthdays and mark any achievements or milestones in their lives. We’re also holding our breath as one of our kids goes for a job interview at the Hilton this weekend… and we’ve developed a mentoring program for the boys in our Link program, which supports kids who have been living on the streets and in serious conflict with the law.

But news about Ngoc is the most exciting. He’s still in hospital, but is now hooked up to only one drip. He looks fine – but this morning while I was visiting he was working his lungs by trying to inflate the bladder from a volley ball. At first, it was almost impossible for him; his lungs are far weaker than I had thought. We are still hoping that he’ll be able to go home within a week. And what a party we have in mind.

Last night, 6 of the Blue Dragon kids invaded the hospital armed with balloons, decorations, cards and signs. They plastered the walls of Ngoc’s little room and transformed it into something festive and bright. I hid in the corner, certain the hospital staff would be outraged. But quite the opposite! Patients, visitors, nurses and doctors came by to have a look, and the whole thing became quite an event. Our kids managed, without even trying, to cheer up the entire ward.

Details surrounding what happened to Ngoc last Thursday night have now become clear. He remembers it all, with shocking clarity. He remembers the 3 young men on a motorbike asking for someone with a similar name… He remembers the leader of the trio pulling out a machete and starting the attack… He remembers the blood as he fell to the ground.

Ngoc also remembers blacking out for a short time, and waking up to see the attackers still standing nonchalantly nearby. They were watching him die, or so they thought. As they climbed back on their bike to leave, the last thing the leader said to him was: “Remember me.”

Such arrogance. But now, a week later, Ngoc does indeed remember him: well enough to have given the police a thorough description. The police now know who the attackers are. As tough as they were that night, the 3 guys have run away and are in hiding. Not so tough after all.

Ngoc is on the mend; his health will never be perfect, but he should soon resume his normal life. For the attackers, however, the future is grim. They’ll be caught, and they’ll spend at least a decade each in prison. That should give them plenty of time to remember Ngoc.