Bicycle Vietnamese boy rode 103km to see ailing brother auctioned

By Trong Nghia   April 4, 2019 | 06:52 pm PT
Bicycle Vietnamese boy rode 103km to see ailing brother auctioned
The bicycle that Vi Quyet Chien uses to ride from Son La to Hanoi to see his sick brother and the slippers he uses for braking. Photo by VnExpress/Nhu Quynh
The bicycle with broken brakes that a boy rode 103km to see his sick brother has been auctioned for $4,400.

A company in the central province of Quang Nam is the new owner of the small bicycle that Vi Quyet Chien, 13, used to travel from his home in Van Ho District in Son La, a province in Vietnam’s northern mountains, to the capital city of Hanoi last month.

The auction for the bicycle that Chien rode to visit his two-month-old brother, who is still hospitalized in Hanoi, was organized on Facebook by Hanoi resident Dang Nhu Quynh.

Held from Monday to Thursday, the auction attracted hundreds of individuals and firms. Aside from its VND103 million ($4,400) bid for the bicycle, the winner also gave Chien’s parents VND20 million ($896) to support the family. Quynh himself had raised VND50 million ($2,243) from benefactors to help the family.

Vi Van Nam, Chien’s father, said he will spend the money on the hospital bills for the sick baby and pay a loan of nearly VND30 million ($1,345) he had taken for the treatment. 

"As farmers, it’s not easy for us to earn such a big sum," he said.

On March 25, Chien left his home to check on his youngest brother after learning that he had been admitted to the Vietnam National Children's Hospital.

The boy did not tell anyone about the plan and chose a different route to get out of the village to avoid being seen by his neighbors. He had no idea where Hanoi was or how to get there, so he followed the national highway and asked people on the way for directions.

Since the bicycle’s brakes were broken, Chien had to use his slippers to break on some downhill sections. He did not have anything with him, not even water, food or money.  

When he reached Hoa Binh Province, halfway between Son La and Hanoi, he was exhausted and lay down on the road with his bicycle.

The crew of a passenger bus going to Hanoi noticed him, got him food and gave him a ride to the city.

They also helped Chien contact his mother who was with his father at the hospital.

Vi Quyet Chien at the  Vietnam National Childrens Hospital in Hanoi on March 26, 2019. Photo courtesy of the hospital

Vi Quyet Chien at the Vietnam National Children's Hospital in Hanoi on March 26, 2019. Photo courtesy of the hospital

The story was posted on the social media by the doctor treating Chien’s brother and it quickly went viral.

Many praised Chien for his determination and his warm heart, but also thought he was lucky to be saved by the drivers. 

A local man named Tuyen in Son La bought Chien a new bicycle before asking Quynh for help to organize the auction for the old one.

The winner also gets the slippers Chien used as brakes during his epic journey.

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