Helping people through song - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

By Fanna Haile-Selassie

Helping people through song


Rochester, MN (KTTC-DT) --

He's traveled across the world for an operation that is desperately needed. And thanks to one local singing group, a young Vietnamese boy will get a life-changing surgery.

Hieu Huynh seems like the average 6-year-old kid, eager to play with his train tracks and not a care in the world, least of all his disability.

"He doesn't seem to register the problem with his walking or anything. He's like a little monkey, I guess," says Christiana Johnson.

Hieu was born with phocomelia, causing his left femur to stop growing at a very small size. His doctor, Nhat Pham says in his 30 years as an orthopedic surgeon, he has never seen a case like Hieu's.

"At this age, it's not about his mental, but when he grows up he will have a more social life, so he will have something wrong with his mind. So now is a good time for us to do something for him," says Dr. Pham.

That's when Hieu found his guardian angels, the Bella Voce Young Woman's choir.

"Part of Bella Voce's mission has always been about using our singing to empower other people, not just ourselves," explains Johnson.

So every spring, these young women find a way that they can give back to the community or the world. Johnson and her father Dr. Craig Johnson found Hieu during their own service trip to Vietnam.

"We only met him for a short time, but he made a very big impact very quickly."

So through song, Bella Voce raised $6,000 to fly him to Rochester to get care. And after seeing him for the first time, they ladies say they don't want him to ever leave. Which is fine for Hieu, who has already said he doesn't want to go back either.

Doctors at the Minneapolis Shriners Hospital will get their first look at Hieu's leg to see how they can help. We will follow Hieu's 2-week journey in Rochester and give you updates on how he is doing.

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