Luật Khoa and The Vietnamese co-founder Vi Tran recently suffered a life-threatening illness.  She is now being treated at a hospital in Taiwan.  

A Vietnamese-American, Vi gave up her career as a lawyer in the US to join Pham Doan Trang and Trinh Huu Long as they set out to improve human rights and democracy in Vietnam.


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Note:  Original texts in Vietnamese:

WESTMINSTER, California (NV) – Small figure, bright face and friendly smile always on the lips are the impression of anyone who first meets Tran Quynh Vi (Vi Tran), the full American name is Vi Katerina Tran.

Many people know Vi not only as a lawyer, but also as a co-founder of Law Khoa Magazine and The Vietnamese. These magazines are considered "reactionary," "anti-government," "yellow flag" by "the state press" and by public opinion in Vietnam.

However, in the past few days, all of Vi's friends and acquaintances were stunned when they heard that she had "a brain hemorrhage leading to a stroke and was treated at a hospital in Taiwan."

News of this young lawyer's illness was "found" and "shared" by friends after the "Gofundme" fund, set up by her cousins, appeared on Saturday, 27. April, call for help so she can pay for her medical expenses.

Having a serious illness

According to what is written on the “Gofundme” page, “Vi is a member of a non-profit organization that promotes human rights and democracy. But tragically, she recently suffered a severe brain bleed and was diagnosed with a brain aneurysm, a very dangerous disease. Vi has undergone two major surgeries in Taiwan and will need various medical treatments for at least the next six months. But Vi has no health insurance. Our family asks everyone to pray for Vi. We also need everyone's help to pay for Vi's medical bills, many of which run into the tens of thousands of dollars."

This news caused a great shock to everyone who knew Vi. Everyone was bewildered, and finally, had to accept the truth when Trinh Huu Long, a close friend and co-founder of Law Khoa Magazine, spoke up to confirm.

“I would like to confirm this information. Vi suffered a brain hemorrhage leading to a stroke more than two weeks ago and was treated at a hospital in Taiwan," Trinh Huu Long wrote on his personal Facebook page on the evening of April 30 (California time).

“The doctor said this is a special type of stroke and very dangerous. They come up with many theories, but don't know for sure why. Vi has undergone two surgeries, just overcame a critical condition. The current situation is that Vi is gradually becoming more alert and showing many signs of good recovery. Vi will soon have to undergo another surgery,” said Mr. Long.

Blogger Pham Doan Trang, who is also a close friend and co-founder of Law Khoa Magazine, added, “Now Vi has just undergone two brain surgeries in Taiwan. Vi can hardly return to the US for treatment, because the medical costs in the US are too high while Vi is no longer insured. Perhaps Vi is temporarily out of danger, but the possibility of recovery to return to normal as before is still very far. Vi's work at Luat Khoa and the English newspaper The Vietnamese had to stop. Please everyone help my friend, in any way possible, especially financially support and contribute, maintain content for The Vietnamese.”

“A strange, inexplicable, love for Vietnam”

As a friend, Ms. Doan Trang said, “Vi and her family left Vietnam in 1992. She has American citizenship, inherited American education, uses English more fluently than Vietnamese in the field. Her area of ​​expertise is law, and has been an established attorney, opening a law firm in San Jose, California.”

“But there is a strange, inexplicable love in Vi for Vietnam – the country her family was forced to leave. In 2014, when Trinh Huu Long and I opened the online newspaper Luat Khoa magazine, Vi volunteered to give up everything – a very good paying job, a very bright career, a peaceful and full life in America – to join us on a road full of hardships, risks and uncertainties,” blogger Doan Trang feels.

Sharing his feelings about his special partner, Mr. Trinh Huu Long expressed, "As the person closest to Vi over the years, I understand that Vi has sacrificed a lot to take this arduous path. Vi never wanted to leave Vietnam, ever since she was a child. Loving Vietnam and the Vietnamese language dearly, four years ago Vi left his career in California to work in the Philippines and Taiwan.”

Lam Kieu Lam, now living in New York, is a friend of Vi Tran, sharing, “… When I first joined Facebook, I knew absolutely nothing about politics. It is from the coincidence of knowing Vi that I have learned many things from Vi until now, so that from there I pay attention to the situation in Vietnam and the US, care, share and learn, learn to know. more things, about the homeland I left behind and about the country I now call home.”

“If anyone asks what made that girl of Saigon origin, even though she left her hometown and settled in the US at a very young age, studied, became a lawyer, fluent in English, an American citizen, but her soul very pure Vietnamese and always oriented towards the roots, I think it is because of her earnest love for Saigon and Vietnam,” added Ms. Lam Kieu Lam.

Mr. Sang Nguyen, a member of VOICE organization, now in Garden Grove, commented, “Although very young, Vi has matured more than many other people her age or older. Her commitment has said all of her aspiration to do something to see the change of her homeland and country. Vi is modest, but rushes to the front lines with personal sacrifice to do what few people want. Anyone who has contact with Vi will see how likable, easy to love and easy to admire!"

For Ms. Giang Tang, now in San Francisco, a person who has known Vi Tran since she was in Vietnam also expressed shock when she heard the terrible news, "I can't believe it when I read this news. She is a kind person. I have known Ms. Vi since 2012, when she returned to Kien Giang to volunteer for the Catalyst Foundation. At that time, Ms. Vi and a group of humanitarian Americans came to help the poor people suffering from human trafficking in my hometown."

“I know you are a great attorney in California, I admire you very much and am delighted to have the opportunity to see you again here in the Bay Area. However, I have not seen Ms. Vi again since she moved to Asia to work for a non-profit organization that helps improve human rights and democracy in Vietnam. I can't believe this happened to you. Sister Vi deserves a better life!” Jiang said excitedly.

“For me personally, Vi is the embodiment of American values: courageous, enthusiastic, fierce, dedicated, but also very realistic, wise, without any illusions about things that are not real. . Friendship with Vi is also a great source of encouragement for me in the most difficult times, because I have faith that I have Vi by my side, the democracy movement has Vi, Vietnam is fortunate to have a Vietnamese like Vi. ,” shared freelance journalist Pham Doan Trang.

Mr. Trinh Huu Long adds, “As a co-founder of Luat Khoa magazine and recently The Vietnamese, Vi worked hard the first two years we were in Taiwan with a very meager salary and have to use their own money to cover living expenses. Vi never said it, but I know for sure that Vi still uses her own money to pay for many of Luat Khoa's bills, later the budget is better, then I told Vi to check how much Luat Khoa owes Vi for Luat Khoa to pay back, but more than that. For half a year, Vi has never counted and never told me.”

According to Mr. Long, "Vi doesn't have health insurance in Taiwan, so getting sick like this has to pay for it all by herself."

More than ever, this is the time when a person like Lawyer Vi Tran needs the hands of relatives, friends, and all those who always support the aspirations of freedom and civil rights in Vietnam. out with her, helping her overcome this harsh challenge, and also helping her fulfill her dream of "wanting to return to work with the people in Vietnam, especially the petitioners, those who have been wronged in criminal cases." ” as she once confessed in an interview with VOA before falling ill.

For all contributions to Ms. Vi Tran, please visit the Gofundme page by CLICKING HERE. (Ngoc Lan)


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