Going to Tam Ngai Commune in Cau Ke District of the southern province of Tra Vinh to ask about the family with "only one finger and only one toe,” the local people immediately took us to the family of Mr. Nguyen Van Cong (died recently).
Binh can ride bicycle and motorcycle but he cannot take a driving license because of his birth defect.
Upon arriving at Cong's house, we met a middle-aged man, whose hands and feet have only one finger and only one toe. He said he is the oldest son of Mr. Cong, named Nguyen Van Binh.
Binh told us that his father died two years ago. He said recently many people had visited his home to learn about his family's strange thing.
Binh's mother - Mrs. Nguyen Thi Anh - said: "By this time our family does not know the reason why from my husband's father to my sons, all men in the family have only one finger for each hand and only one toe for each foot.”
After getting married for a year, Mrs. Anh and Mr. Cong had their first son – Nguyen Van Binh. The couple was very sad to see Binh's same defect with his father.
They then had three daughters and all of them are normal. In 1988, she delivered another son and he also suffered the limb defect. However, the child died at the age of two.
According to Mrs. Anh, Binh's grandfather, Mr. Nguyen Van Bon had limbs with only one finger and toe. With only four fingers and toes, his parents named him Bon (four). He is the only son in his family.
Mr. Cong is also the only son of Mr. Bon and he also had only four fingers and toes. Mr. Bon wished that his grandsons would have normal hands and feet, so he named his son Cong (plus). However, Bon's dream failed. His only grandson – Binh – has the same defect with him.
All Binh's sisters have children and all of them are normal. Binh has no son so he does not know whether his son will suffer from the limb defect or not. He and his wife – Tran Thi Tuyet Mai, therefore, were very worried each time Mai was pregnant.
Gifted men with disabilities
Binh can write very nice.
With the deformed hands and feet, it is sure that Binh, his father and his grandfather faced a lot of difficulties in labor as well as in daily life. However, they could do the works that "normal people" cannot do.
Mr. Nguyen Van Nam, a local man, said: "In our youth, I and Mr. Cong applied to join the army but only I was admitted. Cong was very sad. He borrowed my gun to train himself. Seeing his enthusiasm and his proficiency in using a gun, like a real soldier, he was also admitted to the army."
Nam said after the country's reunion in 1975, Cong returned home. He was assigned to be a military mentor for local youth. With only on finger on each hand, Cong could still very nice so he was appointed as the secretary of the commune government.
Cong played guitar and sings very well. “I loved him for his voice and his gifted finger on the guitar,” Mrs. Anh said proudly.
Binh, due to a complex, he quit school in grade 7. He said when he was in 6th grade, his father told him to practice riding because the road from his home to school is very far. It took him two months to ride a bike. He now can driver a motorcycle, though he cannot get a driver's license owing to his deform.
Mr. Truong Van Diep, a friend of Binh, praised the disabled man for his fishing skill and his good handwriting.
Mai – Binh's wife, said: "I married to Binh for over ten years. Though my husband is disabled, he works very hard to take care the family. I worked in Binh Duong for the last few years so my daughter had to stay home with my husband. But now I'm pregnant so I return home. Everything must rely on my husband."
Mr. Huynh Van Giau - Chairman of Tam Ngai Commune, said that all disabled men in Binh's family were hard-working people. All the commune's residents know and love them.
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