COLORADO SPRINGS — We want to bring you stories that inspire hope, and the journey of a local doctor does just that.
Dr. Vinh Chung is dermatologist, but his name tag has the word "dishwasher" to remind him to be grateful of where he came from. In 1979 his family left Vietnam as refugees. They were drifting out in the South China Sea for ten days in the blazing sun, with no food or water. Chung says his family was then rescued by World Vision, a Christian Humanitarian organization.
"My family left Vietnam in 1979 as refugees when I was three and a half years old," Dr. Chung explained. "We were on the brink of death but fortunately we were rescued. As refugees you leave the country because you are pushed out. and when you leave you have no idea where you are going to end up," he said.
After being rescued, Dr. Chung's family was sponsored by a small church in Fort. Smith, Arkansas, where they relocated.
"I became an American, all because of the generosity of a small church in rural Arkansas," he said.
Dr. Chung and his family learned English, and became American citizens. He worked at a restaurant to make ends meet, earned a couple of degrees after high school, and then decided to call Colorado Springs home, fifteen years later. Dr. Chung never forgets the what it took to get where he's at now. Statistically he says he shouldn't be survived the escape from Vietnam, and never forgot the kindness shown from others.
"That is my impression of the American people. Kind, generous, and the salt of the earth, people who cared so deeply for my family who look so different from the general population," he said.
Now, Dr. Chung practices dermatology at Vanguard Skin Specialists, in Colorado Springs.