Update: 10:22 | 03/09/2020
Nguyen Tat Minh was born without any legs, but fortunately he has a friend – a classmate – who gives him a piggy-back to and from school.
Ngo Minh Hieu has been Minh’s legs for the past ten years. With his friend’s assistance, Minh has never missed a single class.
The story of the two teenagers has been widely shared on social media and received widespread media coverage, describing the friendship as “so inspiring and touching".
Ngo Minh Hieu carries his classmate Nguyen Tat Minh on his back to school every day.
Hieu started carrying Minh to school when they were in second grade. Due to his disability, Minh faces a lot of difficulties. His father’s health is also bad while his mother struggles to make ends meet. This meant getting to school was always going to be difficult for him.
Understand Minh’s desire to study and his strong determination, Hieu decided to help him. Hieu still remembers what he told his parents when he was only 7 years old.
“I’ll carry Minh to school every day,” he recalled.
His parents thought it was simply a childish impulse, but over the past ten years, Hieu has become Minh’s legs. They play and learn together, helping each other improve.
The duo have finished 12th grade and both of them got good scores in the national high school exams.
Hieu got a score of 28.15 while Minh got 28.10. This was a joint effort that created the motivation for them to realise their dreams.
For Minh, he said he once dreamed of becoming a doctor. However, given his circumstances, he changed his mind. The story of Hieu and Minh has been hailed as a real-life fairy tale.
Nguyen Tai Quyen, the headmaster of Trieu Sơn 5 High School in Thanh Hoa Province where the friends have studied together for the past three years, said the boys had set an example for other students to follow.
However, he said they were not surprised because they were always excellent students.
Both of them received Certificate of Merit from the Ministry of Education and Training. They also met and received gift from General Secretary, President Nguyen Phu Trong on a meeting with outstanding students of 2017-2018 school year.
While expressing his joy at his students' achievements, Quyen also expressed concern about Minh in his new environment.
He said he had contacted the school’s alumni who were students at HUST – the university Minh has applied to – to support Minh in the future.
The school was trying to assist Minh with an electronic wheelchair to make it easier for him to commute, Quyen said.
Despite their financial difficulties, her family has decided to let Minh’s father accompany him while he studies in Hanoi.
Ly said that love and support from the family would help Minh overcome his challenges and adapt to his new environment soon.
In a month’s time, the two friends will go their separate ways, but Hieu said it wouldn’t prevent him from seeing Minh.
“I will try my best to arrange things so that I can be by Minh’s side as much as possible.”