A California congresswoman has joined efforts to reunite a dying woman with her mother, who was recently denied a temporary travel visa to journey from Vietnam to the United States where her daughter is hospitalized.
Trinh Phan, a 33-year-old San Jose resident who emigrated from Vietnam in 2003, was suddenly diagnosed with metastatic stage 4 lung cancer and acute respiratory distress syndrome earlier this summer. With only a few weeks to live, she told loved ones her dying wish was to be reunited with her mother, who she last saw in 2012.
The U.S. Embassy and Consulate in Vietnam last month, however, rejected her request for a visa out of concern that Phan’s mother, Nguyen Thi Hoa, would remain in the U.S. for good, her family told Mercury News.
“They claimed Trinh’s mother was unable to convince the consulate that her only desire to enter the United States was to visit her dying daughter,” according to a petition started by the family, which now boasts upwards of 15,000 signatures. “In actuality, this is truly the ONLY reason why her mother urgently needs a temporary visa to visit the United States.”
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Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren’s office recently joined the family’s efforts to reunite the mother and daughter, penning an unofficial letter to President Trump on their behalf.
“I respectfully request your assistance in obtaining a visitor visa, or humanitarian parole, for her mother, Mrs. Nguyen Thi Hoa, so that she may visit with and comfort Mrs. Phan during her last moments of life,” the politician wrote.
Phan’s condition is deteriorating quickly, her sister-in-law, Kandice Nguyen, told Mercury News. The 33-year-old mother, a non-smoker, is currently intubated and is in critical condition at the hospital’s Intensive Care Unit.
“We don’t have any time left at this moment,” she said. “Every minute that goes by, you see a drastic change in her condition. We’re not going to lose hope, but we don’t know if we’re going to have this last wish fulfilled and we’re very concerned about that.”
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And all hope isn’t lost — thanks to coordinated efforts by Lofgren and the State Department, Hoa was granted an expedited visa interview, scheduled for Thursday, according to the newspaper. There, she’ll have an opportunity to further explain her daughter’s condition and why she needs to travel.
“I am hopeful that, along with my efforts, the outpouring of compassion and support from Mrs. Phan’s neighbors, friends, and community will help bring a favorable and timely resolve to this matter,” the congresswoman said in a statement.
Phan’s family said they have been overwhelmed by the love from their community.
“Our objective in the end is to reunite Trinh with her mother,” Nguyen said. “We will go to all ends to ensure those conditions are met.”
- san jose
- zoe lofgren
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