Our story is one of human and humanitarian interest. It is possible, being a stranger in a strange land, to need urgent open heart surgery and having no means to raise the funding, not receive it. This is the situation Kevin Brown is in; it could happen to anyone.
Consider being in a foreign land in a culture not your own and encountering a serious health issue. Furthermore, imagine that as a foreigner there's no financial assistance available to you. That's the situation that Kevin Brown, a Canadian citizen living in Vietnam, is now in.
Recently Kevin's health began to fail, and doctors informed him that he urgently required heart surgery. The cost of the quintuple bypass quoted him was equivalent to $14.6 thousand Canadian. With not enough funding, surgery has not yet been performed. Another heart attack is a significant risk given the extent of arterial blockage; DSA testing identified it to be 70-90%. It is Brown’s fear to leave his children behind in the event of his demise.
Now a single father, in 2008 Kevin moved to Vietnam to be with his family; his then new wife was about to give birth to his daughter. A few years later the couple separated, and both Vu Linh and Ngoc Thi (a boy and a girl) stayed with him. “I am blessed to have them,” Kevin beams. Asked why he doesn't return to Canada where he emigrated from as healthcare is publicly funded there, he offers, “I am not named as the father on the birth certificates of my children, thus if I leave Vietnam I could literally lose custody.” As well, “it is unknown what would happen if my children were left in care of others for any significant length of time,” Brown states.
"It's a predicament and a half, and I wouldn't wish it upon anyone," he says. And "there's nothing I wouldn't do for my kids, nothing in this world - I feel I am all they have, they are certainly all I have." Furthermore says Brown, “it’s a social injustice that requires rectification - this should never happen to anyone anywhere.” Though his opinion will resonate with most, he probably should have invested in some sort of coverage. “If I’d have known, I would have acquired some,” was his response. However, prior to his current circumstance doctors visits were “very cheap,” as he puts it.