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Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum: Health Care

Health Care for Me

Home Tuyet Vu

Mother of Six, Child with Disability, Medicaid

When Tuyet Vu and her husband started their family, they worked as a team raising their children and bridging the hardships with love and support. In nine short years, they grew a fun bunch of six children, including Quynh Vo who was born with down syndrome. Money was not abundant but they enjoyed the small joyous moments that all families with children cherish.

In 2004, Tuyet’s husband was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer and passed away soon there after leaving her as sole provider and parent to their children, then aged nine through eighteen. Tuyet still wonders if they would have caught her husband’s cancer earlier if they had had health insurance.

The last thirteen years have been a struggle and a blessing to see the children grow despite losing their father so young. Because Tuyet and her then minor children qualified for Medicaid after her husband died, she was grateful to have not worried about paying for school physicals, visits to the doctor, and emergency medical events. This allowed her the mental space to concentrate on raising and providing for her 6 kids.

All parents want the best for their children, and Tuyet is no exception. She dedicated her life to her children and she hasn’t prioritized her own health. She has developed debilitating migraines and sleep apnea. Though her children are now in their twenties and thirties, Tuyet is still the sole caretaker for her son, Quynh Vo who has down syndrome. With the repeal of the ACA, she’s worried about losing Medicaid coverage for Quynh Vo and herself. Without Medicaid, how will mom and son afford a home, food and preventative health coverage-they already know the costs of waiting too long to seek medical care?

Tuyet Vu’s story was provided by MQVN Community Development Corporation, Inc., in New Orleans, Louisiana.