High-profile Agent Orange victim ties the knot

December 18, 2006

Nguyen Duc (L) and wife Thanh Tuyen at their wedding
Over 500 people attended the wedding Saturday of Nguyen Duc, one of the best known victims of Agent Orange, the defoliant sprayed by the US army in Ho Chi Minh City.

Duc, 25, was born conjoined, sharing two legs, until he was separated from his brother in 1988 in one of the world’s 18 successful operations to separate Siamese twins.

A medical expert said Duc was the first of the 18 pairs to get married.

His brother, Nguyen Viet, has been bedridden since the surgery at Tu Du Hospital where they were born and raised.

Duc said he had met his wife Nguyen Thi Thanh Tuyen in April 2004 when they were both doing charitable work for the Red Cross to raise money for other victims of Agent Orange.

Duc is an IT worker at Tu Du Hospital while Tuyen helps her mother with her business at a small market stand.

US forces sprayed an estimated 20 million gallons of herbicides, including Agent Orange, in Vietnam between 1962 and 1971. Decades later, the chemicals still remain in the water and soil.

Agent Orange, named after the color of its containers, is blamed for nightmarish birth defects in Vietnam where babies sometimes have two heads or do not have eyes or arms.

US veterans of the war have complained for years of a variety of health problems from exposure to the herbicides.

Source: Tuoi Tre – Translated by The Vinh

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