SAN JOSE (CBS SF) — Trinh Phan has been granted her last wish — to see her mother’s smile and feel the comforting touch of her hand one last time.
The dying woman’s mother has been granted a visa to come see Pham before she succumbs to lung cancer.
The 33-year-old San Jose resident’s dream turned into a family nightmare when the U.S. Embassy & Consulate in Vietnam rejected her mother’s request for a temporary travel visa to come to the United States and see her.
News of the reversal came Tuesday and the family is overjoyed. Travel plans are being finalized.
Phan – who is hospitalized in the ICU unit at O’Connor Hospital — is in the final stages of her battle with lung cancer and her family says she is running out of time.
“We don’t have any time left at this moment,” Kandice Nguyen, Phan’s sister-in-law, who is acting as a family spokesperson, told the San Jose Mercury News. “Every minute that goes by, you see a drastic change in her condition. We’re not going to lose hope, but we don’t know if we’re going to have this last wish fulfilled and we’re very concerned about that.”
Phan immigrated to the United States back in 2003 and became a U.S. citizen in 2010. The last time she saw her mother was in 2012.
The family says Phan’s mother — Nguyen Thi Hoa — had her visa application rejected because immigration authorities feared she would attempt to stay in the U.S. illegally.
Phan’s relatives turned to Bay Area Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren for help. They also started a petition calling on the consulate and President Donald Trump to issue Hoa a visa. As of Monday, they had collected nearly 16,000 signatures.
Lofgren issued a statement Monday saying she would do everything she can to help the family.
“I am hopeful that, along with my efforts, the outpouring of compassion and support from Mrs. Phan’s neighbors, friends, and community will help bring a favorable and timely resolution to this matter,” Lofgren told the Mercury News.
Whatever Lofgren did, it worked.
Phan, who is married and has a young son, was diagnosed with Metastatic Stage 4 lung cancer and Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome in July. The disease has progressed rapidly and she now is fully dependent on oxygen.
“Her lungs have completely collapsed,” Nguyen told the newspaper. “It’s quite a dire and daunting situation for our family.”
So all that was left to do was wait and hope that Trinh’s mom was granted her visa before it’s too late.
“Just as any human being would have, is to hold on and to have that last wish be granted. So that you can leave and part this earth with some peace, some dignity, and grace,” said Nguyen.