‘Minor Surgery’ in Da Nang, Vietnam

39,000 VND for taxi ride to hospital (he drove just like any EMS)
340,000 VND for three prescription medications
1,100,000 VND for ‘minor surgery’
25,000 VND for taxi ride back to hotel

Total: 1,504,000 VND or $82.43 Canadian

It started out as an uneventful travel day.

I was packing up. Emma and Ben were cramming electronics. Hannah and Rob went for a walk to make up for not visiting the ‘Lady Buddha’ before leaving Da Nang.

Rob interrupted my Hoi An research when he entered the room and told me Hannah had hurt herself. He didn’t look flustered at all. And he even told me to wait a bit before checking on her because she was having a shower. There were a few more details – walking – fell in a hole – cut herself – no metal involved.

I waited a few minutes and went to the kid’s room. Rob quickly followed behind.

I found Hannah in the bathroom with wads of toilet paper on her right leg.

This is when I got the details – walking – stepped on a sheet of glass covering a hole – fell through the glass – cut herself – and had to be pulled out.  (!?!WTF!?!)

I tended to two wounds on her upper thigh and thought that our first aid kit may just barely cut it. I was also thinking it was the worst of it (else someone may have told me otherwise).

Then I think Hannah said something like ‘the next one is kinda bad’.

7 Shots and 10 Stitches


Wow! A good five-inch cut down her outer calf. It wasn’t bleeding a ton but it was a thick gash. After cleaning it, I covered it in Polysporin and could see a nice wedge of the stuff in her gash. What to do?!

I told Rob I thought she needed stitches. He came back with something like ‘she’ll be fine’. Hannah agreed with him.

Whatever. I generally win. So off we went to the hospital.

Hannah was whisked right in. And I was whisked right out. I was allowed back in either from protesting or because Hannah asked for me when they told her she needed ‘minor surgery’. She did have a bit of panic there.

The amazing staff at the Sofia Hotel came with us ‘just in case’. She translated for us and confirmed that Hannah needed stitches.

I asked questions while needles were pulled out but there was quite a bit lost in translation.

In the end, Hannah ended up with seven shots and ten stitches!

Two of the shots were to make sure she wasn’t allergic to the antibiotics. Four for freezing. And one tetanus.

Ten stitches and thirty minutes later she was discharged with a bag of antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, and too many pain killers.

Wow! Great care. Hopefully some neat stitches. And what a story!

Hannah was a champ. She didn’t complain at all. She certainly didn’t want stitches. And she really wants a scar.

Hannah couldn’t help but add ‘the real story’:

“What actually happened was Dad and I were walking along this little street. There were some nice buildings we were looking at to the right and some restaurants to the left of us. There was no one around save for the odd taxi driver, the sound of traffic and a television could be heard in the distance. So, we’re walking along when Dad stops (I’m a few feet behind him at this point and keep walking) and he goes “I think I hear James Earl Jones. Do you hear James Earl Jones? I think I might be having a stroke”. (By the time he’d finished speaking he’d resumed walking). Not understanding exactly what he said I asked whether he’d seen or heard him. He never actually answered because at that point I hear a crunch and the next thing I knew I was hip deep in a hole. Dad had to pull me out. It didn’t even occur to me I was hurt until I realized I was bleeding profusely. After unsuccessfully trying to stop the bleeding we (I) decided to carry on. Then a man ran out of his house (presumably after seeing all the blood) bearing band aids. Unfortunately it was futile and we had to continue back and then sneak by the hotel staff on our way in. I did not want to go to the hospital.”

“Oh, and Mom now has me bandaged like a burn victim.”




10 Replies to “‘Minor Surgery’ in Da Nang, Vietnam”

    1. No. No credit cards. No USD either. I had to visit an ATM while Hannah was getting stitches. I need to do a post on money woes. Most of the ATMs only dispense 2,000,000 dong at a time (about $110 Canadian). Super PITA.

    1. Hi MJ! Hannah is great. We changed the dressing this morning and it looks good. She says it doesn’t hurt much. And hasn’t used any of the pain meds.

  1. omg! Thank God you are there. Just a flesh wound eh. Glad Hannah is ok but what about Rob? Did he have a stoke or is Darth real? Perhaps a TV in the distance….

    1. Just a flesh wound eh… Monty Python?
      Exactly, Rob thinks a Star Wars movie was playing in the distance. But of course he couldn’t confirm it once he got distracted with Hannah.

  2. That’s my niece what a trooper….. so glad to hear your of Hann… and yes what a story you will be able to tell about your scar… love you all.

    PS no more surgery

  3. Glad to hear Hannah is OK. Less the part about stepping in to a hole covered with glass, I think I have been is a similar situation when Rob thinks he hears James Earl Jones…

    1. Thanks Kevin. Funny thing I was joking with Hannah about having a stroke. But…James Earl Jones was really playing a couple of houses over… Not sure which Star Wars movie but I recognized Darth Vader…. Hannah got her stitches out today and the next four days includes washing with saline, iodine and covering with vaseline to avoid scabs. Apparently, scabs in the tropics are bad and lead to infection.

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