People don't appreciate what they have until they've lost it.
— Ly-Sieng Ngo
This is the story of Ly Sieng Ngo, a native a Cambodian and now a resident of Seattle, Washington. Ly Sieng was born into a priviliged Chinese-Cambodian family all of whom became victims of Pol Pot's "Killing Fields." The text that follows tells of Ly Sieng's life and is further illustrated with a video she graciously filmed with organizational consultant, Dr. Sally Fox, and the Voices Technology Director, Otts Bolisey. In 1994 the Robert Woods Johnson Foundation awarded Ly Sieng as a recipient of their Family Health Community Award.
- I am repeatedly astounded at the difficulties Ly-Sieng has overcome in her transition from being a survivor for four years under Pol Pot's regime in Cambodia to being a functioning individual in a totally alien culture. She is truly an inspiration of compassion and the ability of the human spirit to triumph in the face of extreme adversity.
— Family Nurse Practitioner, Country Doctor Clinic
- Nobody knows the suffering of the Cambodian people, nor recognizes the complex, long-term needs of the community, better than she. She has achieved a remarkable balance between translator, social worker, and advocate. She has always been exquisitely effective as a cross-cultural broker, and is extraordinarily respected by providers and patients alike. She is clearly qualified for many higher-paying jobs, but has made a commitment and stuck to it. She inspires all of us who are lucky enough to have worked with her.
—Medical Director, Country Doctor Health Centers
Source: Much of Ly Sieng's story is derived from her own words and from the "Profile of Leaders," by the Robert Woods Johnson Foundation, http://www.rwjf.org/reports/npreports/chlpNgo.htm.