Rescued refugee treats patient who supported refugees

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By Nick Seebruch
Rescued refugee treats patient who supported refugees
Dr. Dang and Lynda. Submitted photo.

CORNWALL, Ontario – In a case that would make you believe in good karma, Dr. Yen Dang, a Vietnamese refugee diagnosed and treated a patient the Cornwall Community Hospital (CCH) identified as Lynda, who along with her husband Peter sponsored Vietnamese refugees in the 1980s.

Lynda was at the CCH and was diagnosed by Dr. Dang with Achalasia, a serious condition affecting only one in 100,000 people. Achalasia causes the muscular sphincter from esophagus to the stomach to close, making swallowing difficult.

Dr. Dang conducted a minimally invasive surgery which has made swallowing easier for Lynda, who has since made a full recovery.

Through his discussions with Lynda, Dr. Dang learned of her own history with helping refugees.

Lynda and Peter sponsored a Vietnamese family who immigrated to Canada in the 1980s. In the 40 years since then, Lynda and Peter have had children of their own, and have also served as foster parents to over 130 children. In November 2019, they helped sponsor a family of Syrian refugees who moved to the area.

Dr. Dang, who was born in Canada, is grateful to those who helped sponsor refugees like his parents and older brother.

“My parents and older brother landed in Canada in December 1979 and I was born shortly thereafter. I have always grown up feeling grateful to those who saved my family and gave me a chance to grow up in a safe country with access to education and health care. I am very fortunate to now be in a position where I can help others. I was especially delighted to be part of Mrs. Jack’s care after learning about her own involvement with refugee families. In a small way, I felt like it was my opportunity to give back and to thank someone who had helped a family like mine,” said Dr. Dang. “I like to believe that kindness goes around.”

Lynda’s quality of life has improved greatly since the procedure and she is very grateful in turn to Dr. Dang.

“My quality of life has improved tremendously since the procedure. I think Dr. Dang is a very approachable, compassionate and amazing surgeon with a great bedside manner” she said. “Good things happen to good people.”

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