Girls home from overseas ordeal

Kim Le Tang

August 25, 2010 5:53:46 PM PDT
It was City of Medicine Academy's first day of a new school year Wednesday, but unlike many, it had one student back in the classroom who didn't know if she'd make it just weeks ago.

"When I was laying in the hospital, when blood was coming out bowls and bowls, I thought there was no way I could get to America," recalled student Kim Le Tang.

Fifteen-year-old Kim and her 10-year-old sister Diane were visiting family in Vietnam when a terrible car accident left her sister with cuts and bruises and Kim seriously injured.

"Half my face was broken and if you looked at it before I had my surgery my face was smashed in," said Kim.

It's hard to see the tiny scar on her lower lip or her new teeth put in to replace the ones she lost.

"Going back to school is pretty easy for me, but first I have to get used to staying awake the whole period at school," said Kim.

After more than a month in a Vietnamese hospital, Kim and her sister just got home last week.

Doctors say she's only 75 percent recovered, but seeing her friends in the hallway seems to help.

"It means a lot because I've noticed a lot of people have supported me even though they don't know me," said Kim.

The school has rallied around the Tang family since the accident. Principal Elizabeth Shearer kept Kim's photo in her office.

"We've been praying for the family all summer. They've been through an incredible trauma and her strength of character and her determination, she sent a message from Vietnam worried about her summer reading," said Shearer.

Kim wants to grow up to be a surgeon.

"My dreams still going to be the same, but now because I have experience, it makes me want to reach to my goal more," she said.

City of Medicine Academy has raised $4,000 to help the Tang family pay for the Kim's future surgeries.

If you would like to help, contact City of Medicine Academy at (919)560-2001 or at www.dpsnc.net/schools/school-profiles/high-school-list/city-of-medicine-academy.

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