HOUSTON—Travelling from half a world away for a new chance of a normal life, the so-called "Vietnamese Miracle Baby" is finally in the hands of a local plastic surgeon who is willing to help him.
"All these people come together to help him and I think he has a very compelling story," said Dr. Tue Dinh of Methodist Hospital. "I just try to do my part."
Three year-old Phung Thien Nhan had lost his entire right leg and his genitals during a wild animal attack, after his biological mother abandoned him in the jungles of central Vietnam shortly after his birth.
Dr. Dinh, whose also a native of Vietnam, has lend his expertise in the case of a local infant whose genitals was allegedly mutilated by his mother and has performed several successful adult penile reconstructive surgeries.
He said luckily for Thien Nhan, the boy's testicles were saved during the horrific animal attack because they had not descended.
"There is a risk of the testes becoming cancerous if left inside the abdomen," said Dr. Dinh. "So for that they need to be brought down and since he doesn't have a scrotum anymore we have to construct a sac to contain the testes."
The boy's adoptive mother says it pains her when he keeps asking why he's different from her other sons.
"He always has questions, but I told him you are not different," said Mai Tran. "You have everything the same like your brothers, just a little bit shorter."
She said she has declined other doctors' offers to turn Thien Nhan into a girl.
She said thanks to philanthropist, Greig Craft, and the group "Kids With No Borders" she has found the doctor her son really needs.
"Obviously Thien Nhan is acting like a boy so we need to keep him as a boy," said Dr. Dinh. "For the missing leg that's easy enough to treat The other question is whether or not he needs an artificial penis during this time so that he'll feel like a boy... That's a temporary solution. In the long run we reconstruct a functional penis so that he can have adult relations and eventually children."