Heart to Heart with Anna

Vietnamese Refugee, Author & Heart Warrior

April 13, 2021 Amy M. Le Season 16 Episode 302
Heart to Heart with Anna
Vietnamese Refugee, Author & Heart Warrior
Show Notes Transcript

What is it like to be born in Vietnam in the 1970s with a heart defect? What efforts would a mother make to ensure her daughter has a chance for life? How does understanding one’s family history impact one’s future?

Amy M. Le shares an amazing story with Anna about her mother's life-changing decision to flee war-torn Vietnam to save her daughter's life by going to the United States where her daughter could have surgery. In Vietnam, there was no hospital to take care of Amy's congenital heart defect, but in the United States, she could receive open-heart surgery and a chance for a future. Amy shares the story of what lengths her mother and cousin went to in order for them to escape and start a brand new life thanks to the kindness of strangers.

Amy also shares information about the book she has written based on her mother's story. If you'd like to order a copy of the book, you can do so here: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/snow-in-vietnam-amy-m-le/1131712030?ean=9781948577977 or at our new Heart Community  Collection cooperative bookstore: https://heartcollection.wixsite.com/bookstore/about-1-1

Amy's website: https://www.amy-m-le.com

Amy's author page on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authoramymle/

The podcast where I discovered Amy: https://www.vietnameseboatpeople.org/podcast/episode/b9fe7048/22-snow-in-vietnam


Anna's Buzzsprout Affiliate Link (if you'd like to try Buzzsprout for your podcast and get a bonus gift card -- and Anna will, too!) use this link: https://www.buzzsprout.com/?referrer_id=16817

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Vietnamese Refugee, Author & Heart Warrior

Mon, 4/12 9:47PM • 29:48

SUMMARY KEYWORDS

Vietnamese, books, mom, heart, mother, sponsor, Seattle, United States, family, Vietnam, people, life, congenital heart defect, cousin,
 

Amy M. Lee  00:00

In telling my mom's story, it's also in a way telling my story which I hope that one day my son will be able to listen to this podcast and listen to the stories and read the books and really understand where he came from, but also to live his life with meaning and purpose.


Anna Jaworski  00:17

What Is it like to be born in Vietnam in the 1970s with a heart defect? What efforts would a mother make to ensure her daughter has a chance for life? How does understanding one's family history impact one's future? Welcome to “Heart to Heart with Anna.” I am Anna Jaworski, and I’m a heart mom and the host of your program. Today's show is 'Vietnamese Refugee, Author, and Heart Warrior,' and our guest is Amy M. Lee. Amy M. Lee was born in Vietnam and immigrated to the United States in 1980. The fall of Saigon propelled her family to embark on a treacherous journey to America. She lived in Seattle most of her life and worked for large corporations like Microsoft and T-Mobile. In 2017 when Amy's mother passed, Amy quit her corporate career to write her mother's story. “Snow in Vietnam” was her debut novel published in 2019. Amy is a Vietnam War survivor and a congenital heart defect warrior. Today, Amy is a full-time author. She resides in Oklahoma with her husband and son. When she's not writing, Amy volunteers for a child advocacy center and serves as President of Oklahoma City Writers, Inc. She loves experimenting in the kitchen, reading books, playing mahjong, and watching football. The Seattle Seahawks is her favorite team, not surprisingly, or Ultimate Fighting Championship fights. Okay, that's got to be because of your son. That's not something I expected to learn about you, Amy. Welcome to “Heart to Heart with Anna,” Amy.


Amy M. Lee  02:06

Oh, Anna, thank you so much. I feel so blessed to be here. And I think what you are doing is just amazing. And I know it takes a lot of work. So thank you again for doing this show.


Anna Jaworski  02:15

Oh, well, thank you for coming on and tell me all about UFC. I have never watched a UFC fight. So what got you interested in that, Amy?


Amy M. Lee  02:24

Yeah, I don't really know myself, actually. My son does do MMA...


Anna Jaworski  02:28


Okay


Amy M. Lee  02:28

...but that's because I pushed him to. He does a lot of Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.


Anna Jaworski  02:33

Cool!


Amy M. Lee  02:34

I always loved the sport of cage fighting. I used to watch UFC back in the old days when it was, gosh, when there was no rules in the cage.


Anna Jaworski  02:41

Oh, my goodness, I would never have guessed that of you. But I guess that's because I don't really know anyone who does that. Both of my boys took martial arts training when they were young. They did Taekwondo, so they weren't doing anything in cages. (laughter) I’m sure they would have loved that though. But I've never watched. My husband never watched that. So, wow! That sounds interesting! I’ve seen memes. And I've seen references to this, but it's completely outside of my realm of experience. Who's your favorite fighter?


Amy M. Lee  03:16

That's a hard one, too. Well, this Saturday, I'm actually watching the Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier fight over in Fight Island, which is Abu Dhabi. And I think it's to UFC 257. McGregor is definitely one of my favorites. And I like his Scotch. (laughter)


Anna Jaworski  03:32

Oh, you like his Scotch! (laughter) Well, that doesn't hurt at all, does it?


Amy M. Lee  03:38

No.


Anna Jaworski  03:39

Well, Amy, let's talk about the heart. All of this stuff was fun, but let's get back to what we're here for. And that's to talk about you being a Heart Warrior. Tell me about your congenital heart defect and how it has affected you.


Amy M. Lee  03:51

I think the type of congenital heart defect that I had was a atrial septal defect. And I'm actually just learning a little bit about it right now. I had it when I was born. And basically, there was a hole in my heart. It caused the blood to flow poorly throughout the body. And I think because I was born in the middle of the Vietnam War, environmental factors. Right, I think the environmental factors contributed to the defect. And with the hole in my heart and the murmur, it was definitely tough to live in a situation where there was no medical care in the 1970s. Right?


Anna Jaworski  04:26

Well, absolutely! Oh, my Goodness! Absolutely! So you were born in the 1970s? You were born in a war-torn country. What was your mother's living situation at that time?


Amy M. Lee  04:38

So my mother was abandoned and betrayed basically by my father. And so when the war ended in 1975, he left Vietnam to go to the states and my mom ended up being by herself with just me, a dying child. And she was a single mom and she did have her siblings and extended family. But we were all in the same situation. We were starving, you know, the Vietcong had taken over and it was really hand-to-mouth and day-to-day survival. So it was rough.


Anna Jaworski  04:58

Wow! Absolutely! Now, did you have a home, or were you actually having to move from place to place?


Amy M. Lee  05:19

We lived near the Mekong Delta in South Vietnam in a little village called Tra Vinh. At one point, my mom did live in Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City, but she had to move back home to be with her family in Tra Vinh because being with your family is everything and that's how we were able to survive is to pull in our resources. And I know I'm getting a little bit ahead of myself. But ultimately, my mom had to sell contraband stuff and Western medicine (that she found or stole) to survive — in the black market.


Anna Jaworski  05:51

Wow! Unbelievable! We know that you had an ASD, tell me how your heart is functioning right now as an adult.


Amy M. Lee  05:59

It is functioning beautifully. I had open-heart surgery when I was six years old, just right after my birthday when I came to the United States. And I think I was in surgery for about six hours at Seattle Children's Hospital. And I was at the hospital for at least a week. But I was brand new after that. And even though originally I was told I wasn't supposed to live till past five years old. After my open-heart surgery, the doctors were like, “Come back and visit often, get your checkups, and we want to make sure you live past 18.”


Anna Jaworski  06:30

Awww! So everything...


Amy M. Lee  06:32

And I..


Anna Jaworski  06:32

changed, your whole outlook on life was able to change after you had that surgery.


Amy M. Lee  06:38

Yeah, and I'm turning 47 this year. So, it's been an amazing...! I mean, I can't say enough about the technology here in the US and access to medicine and you know, just having insurance. That's huge, huge.


Anna Jaworski  06:53

That is huge!


Amy M. Lee  06:54

Yeah, I was just listening to your previous podcasts with your friend from India and just to not have insurance or any medical support. It’s really scary.


HomeTonightForever  07:09

Home. Tonight. Forever by the Baby Blues Sound Collective. "I think what I love so much about this CD is that some of the songs were inspired by the patients," (Anna Jaworski) "Many listeners will understand many of the different songs and what they've been inspired by. Our new album will be available on iTunes, Amazon.com, Spotify," (Dr. Gil Wernovsky) I love the fact that the proceeds from this CD are actually going to help those with congenital heart defects." (Anna Jaworski) "Enjoy the music," (Dr. Gil Wernovsky). Home. Tonight. Forever.


Disclaimer  07:45

This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. The opinions expressed in the podcast are not those of Hearts Unite the Globe, but of the hosts and guests and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to congenital heart disease or bereavement.


Rejoiner  08:06

You are listening to "Heart to Heart with Anna." If you have a question or comment that you would like addressed on our show, please send an email to Anna Jaworski at [email protected] That's [email protected] Now, back to "Heart to Heart with Anna."


Anna Jaworski  08:26

Amy, in the first segment, we talked a little bit about you and your mother being in Vietnam and you coming to the United States. But, I want to get a little bit more specific in this segment. I know you didn't come alone to the United States, but you actually had a cousin who came too, right?


Amy M. Lee  08:44

That is correct. My cousin Tri, who was 17. He's 12 years older than I am.


Anna Jaworski  08:50

So what are your strongest memories? Because you're still a very little girl when you came over. What do you really remember from that trip?


Amy M. Lee  08:59

I had a happy childhood. It wasn't until I was older in my teens that I started to feel unhappy about how things were going. But I will say that my strongest memories of coming to the United States was flying on a 747 Boeing airplane and sitting up in the bubble with a movie screen and all the food I could eat and drink and (laughter)...


Anna Jaworski  09:21

Yeah, because it was different in the 70s. They brought you peanuts and they brought you food. (laughter) Right? I mean today they charge you for playing but not the 70s.


Amy M. Lee  09:32

Oh, yeah! Oh, yeah! It was luxury! And you come from war-torn Vietnam to that, it's just amazing! It was the first time on an airplane. And when we landed it was so cold because we were in our tropical clothes. And we were...


Anna Jaworski  09:45

Oh, yeah!


Amy M. Lee  09:45

so used to that kind of weather.


Anna Jaworski  09:47

Right?


Amy M. Lee  09:47

Right? Yeah, hot and humid to cold, rainy Seattle. But our sponsors were amazing! And that's one of my biggest best memories.


Anna Jaworski  09:56

So talk to me about your sponsors, because I think you're the first person that I've interviewed who actually came as a refugee. I've known of some other people who came to get care for their heart defects, but they weren't actually refugees. How did you get to the United States?


Amy M. Lee  10:13

So when we were living in the Galang Refugee Camp in Indonesia, we ultimately got sponsored my mom, my cousin and me. And we were sponsored by a Presbyterian Church in Kent, Washington. And when we landed in Seattle, the whole church came out to greet us, and we met our sponsors, Mr. and Mrs. Van Zwol. And they took us in. And we lived with them for a while until we found our own housing. They have since passed, but I just recently connected with their son and their daughter...


Anna Jaworski  10:45

How wonderful!


Amy M. Lee  10:46

after all these years. And yeah, it's amazing!


Anna Jaworski  10:50

Wow!


Amy M. Lee  10:50

So without the sponsorship, we would have had no way to navigate in the United States and learn the matrix of the culture and laws and all that stuff.


Anna Jaworski  11:02

So did your sponsor also know Vietnamese?


Amy M. Lee  11:06

No. No. They were good old Americans, meat and potatoes kind of people, Christian families. (laughter)


Anna Jaworski  11:14

I love your description.


Amy M. Lee  11:14

And it was great because we taught them how to eat certain Vietnamese foods. I mean, they didn't know what to do with us. So we love rice. We're the meat and rice kind of people. And so it was a nice cultural exchange. And I remember being five years old, and my sponsor who loved blue cheese, would give me a big morsel of it. And I just gagged and it just ruined me for years


Anna Jaworski  11:38

Ah!


Amy M. Lee  11:38

I could not eat blue cheese.


Anna Jaworski  11:40

I can't eat it either.


Amy M. Lee  11:41

I know, right?


Anna Jaworski  11:42

I can not eat blue cheese. I like feta, but...


Amy M. Lee  11:44

I love it now!


Anna Jaworski  11:45

Do you love it now? I still don't like it.


Amy M. Lee  11:47

I love it now.


Anna Jaworski  11:48

Mold on your cheese. It just doesn't seem right. (laughter) My husband loves it.


Amy M. Lee  11:54

Well. Oh, yeah! Oh, yeah. It's an acquired taste.


Anna Jaworski  11:58

So this was a Christian family that took you in. So did you belong to their church?


Amy M. Lee  12:05

Yeah, my mom, who was originally Buddhist, then became Catholic, came to the States and went to their Presbyterian Christian church, but she remained a Catholic, and I was just an anomaly. And then when I got older, I decided to follow Catholicism as well.


Anna Jaworski  12:22

How interesting! Yeah, there are some really good things that that different churches do, the Catholic churches, or the Christian churches, in going and rescuing people, but you don't hear a whole lot that they're rescuing them because they have a heart defect. And that really wasn't the case. They didn't rescue you only because of that, otherwise, they wouldn't have brought your cousin right?


Amy M. Lee  12:45

Yeah, I really don't understand why they sponsored us. We were only a family of three, which maybe that helped, because it does cost a lot to sponsor. And if you have a big family of eight or 12, then chances are you will have to wait longer or get a split up. And there's been families that go off to different countries only to reunite many, many years later.


Anna Jaworski  13:05

It would be so heartbreaking.


Amy M. Lee  13:07

Yeah, but I think my heart defect, probably played a part in getting sponsored. Seattle Children's Hospital, I think is one of the best out there. And we were very fortunate. I turned six years old in July. And in August, I collapsed and ended up at Seattle Children's to have my open heart surgery. And my doctor was Dr. Hall. And I don't know anything more than that. So I've been looking for him or her for a while. And so he's out there or she's out there. I would love, love to connect.


Anna Jaworski  13:35

If you’re out there listening to the show, and you remember this sweet little Vietnamese girl and you're wondering what happened to her. We have a success story. Let's bring you together.


Amy M. Lee  13:40

Yeah!


Anna Jaworski  13:44

That would be such a cool show. Oh my goodness, that would be so amazing! You were five years old. You came here, you were six, you collapsed. How terrifying must that have been?


Amy M. Lee  13:46

That would be. Yeah, I collapsed a few times, actually. But one particular situation where I felt faint and collapsed and fell down a flight of stairs.


Anna Jaworski  14:07

Oh, no.


Amy M. Lee  14:09

Yeah. And that was what got us rushed to the hospital. And I will say though, that one good thing that came out of it was — other than a new heart, obviously, — but I learned my first English word there. And it was the word 7-Up because... (laughter)


Anna Jaworski  14:25

That's what you wanted to drink.


Amy M. Lee  14:26

Yeah, it was either milk or 7-Up. And milk did not taste good to me.


Anna Jaworski  14:30

Yeah! Oh, my goodness! Well, yeah, especially in your country, you probably didn't drink milk after you weren't nursing. It would have tasted strange. Of course 7-Up would probably have tasted strange too, but


Amy M. Lee  14:41

Yeah! Sugar. It’s got sugar.


Anna Jaworski  14:48

Absolutely! Your cousin, who was 17 so quite a bit older than you, and your mother, and you all were so brave to come to the United States. You settled in Seattle. Tell me about what life was like? You said you stay with your sponsor family until you could afford your own place. Did you move into a Vietnamese community after that? or What was your life like?


Amy M. Lee  15:15

Well, we actually were in government-subsidized housing for a year. We lived in an apartment complex. And I was one of two Vietnamese kids in that Elementary School in that apartment complex. It wasn’t until a little bit later that there were more refugees, more Vietnamese, that came. I was really young, and I was a very spirited even though I was frail and blue all the time. I've always been able to hold my own. And so I remember a really good happy childhood. I never felt like we didn't have enough food to eat, or that I didn't have the toys that the other kids have, or the clothes or whatever. We had a great community around us. I think it was when we moved to Orange County and I was in my early teens, in my formative years, that I started to feel a little bit worried about my heart surgery, my scar and that was the time when I was wanting to be noticed by boys and wanting to show a little bit more skin and living in California.


Anna Jaworski  16:26

Right? Yeah. Didn't you live in Seattle?


Amy M. Lee  16:29

Right. You go from Seattle to California where the weather has completely changed.


Anna Jaworski  16:34

Yeah.


Amy M. Lee  16:34

But,  I was still wearing my turtlenecks even though it was 80 degrees.


Anna Jaworski  16:38

Awww!


Amy M. Lee  16:38

Or my crew necks because I was so afraid to show any skin.


Baby Hearts Press  16:42

Anna Jaworski has written several books to empower the congenital heart defect or CHD community. These books can be found at Amazon.com or at our website www.babyheartspress.com. Our best seller is "The Heart of a Mother" - an anthology of stories written by women for women in the CHD community. Anna's other books: "My Brother Needs an Operation," "The Heart of a Father," and "Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome: A Handbook for Parents" will help you understand that you are not alone. Visit babyheartspress.com to find out more.


HUG Information  17:25

"Heart to Heart with Anna" is a presentation of Hearts Unite the Globe and is part of the HUG Podcast Network. Hearts Unite the Globe is a nonprofit organization devoted to providing resources to the congenital heart defect community to uplift, empower, and enrich the lives of our community members. If you would like access to free resources pertaining to the CHD community, please visit our website at www.congenitalheartdefects.com for information about CHD, the hospitals that treat children with CHD, summer camps for CHD survivors, and much, much more.


Anna Jaworski  17:51

Right before the break, Amy, we were talking about those awkward teenage years and you are not the first person to tell me that you didn't want your scar to be shown. That just seems to be so common. When did things start to change for you? Or maybe have they not?


Amy M. Lee  18:17

It was when I came back to Seattle and finished high school and went to college that things changed for me. I actually reconnected with my first boyfriend that I met in California after being separated for a few years. And he was the one that really helped me to believe in myself and what I had survived. And he made me see that my scar was a warrior scar. And it was the reason why I was here. And little by little that turtleneck became a crewneck, became a V neck, and (laughter) still no bikinis though, but I'm there. (laughter)


Anna Jaworski  18:58

Well, I love that! It seems like he was very supportive. And was he also instrumental in helping you recognize the value of your mother's story?


Amy M. Lee  19:06

No, not necessarily. I think, really, it was my cousin Tri.


Anna Jaworski  19:11

Okay.


Amy M. Lee  19:12

When I wrote my first book, he was instrumental in helping me to piece all the things together. And my mom had passed away and that's why I decided to become an author to write her book. And I didn't have any of the information, just little bits here and there. So he was truly instrumental in getting my story written.


Anna Jaworski  19:32

Are the two of you still very close?


Amy M. Lee  19:34

We are. He lives in Seattle with his family. I'm here in Oklahoma, but we connect often and he's not on social media at all. So it's really up to me as the younger to pay tribute to the elder, by calling him, and texting him, and what have you, visiting him. But yes, we are definitely very close. And it's a little bit challenging though because of our age difference and because his Vietnamese is way better than mine, you know than mine. And vice versa. My English is way better than his. So we stumble along, but we manage when we communicate.


Anna Jaworski  20:08

That's interesting! So even though you grew up together, I guess by the time he got here, he was already a young man. How long did he stay with you and your mother before he went off on his own?


Amy M. Lee  20:20

Not very long. When we came to the States, probably within the first six months to a year, he was starting to float out on his own. And he hated school. He didn't have any friends, didn't learn the language.


Anna Jaworski  20:34

Aww! Sure.


Amy M. Lee  20:35

He missed his family back home. And he was always looking for something to do, someone to connect with. And ultimately, he found those people out on the soccer fields. Yeah, yeah! So I'm so happy he found them. Otherwise, I think he would have ended up in jail. (laughter)


Anna Jaworski  20:52

Yeah!  Oh, no! You see that happen with young men. I'm curious if he had family in Vietnam, why did he choose to come with your mother and you to the United States?


Amy M. Lee  21:06

He had no choice actually. My mom left Vietnam to obviously find medical care for me. But my uncle, who was afraid that the situation was getting worse in Vietnam, he felt that it was worth the risk to send his oldest son with us. And he would rather have his son perish out in the open seas, in the South China Sea. Then be put into a reeducation camp or get killed by the Vietcong. And so he was under the impression that he was going to escort my mom to another village so that she could take up a residence there to teach. So it was a big shock to him to find out that we were actually escaping the country, and that he was never going to see his family again. Yeah.


Anna Jaworski  21:53

Oh, my goodness! That must have been fairly traumatic for him.


Amy M. Lee  21:57

Yeah, it was very stressful. But if you read my book, you'll understand what an amazing person he truly is. Because he was the main reason that we got as far as we did because he's so resourceful. He was never educated in school. I think he dropped out of school because of the war and the propaganda and everything pretty early on. And so he was very street smart, very resourceful. He helped us to find money or gold when we didn't have any. My favorite story that he has told us was when he found some morphine at a local hospital, which was just basically across the street from where we lived. And he sold that on the black market for so much money, and that helped our family get by for a while.


Anna Jaworski  22:44

Wow! Well, I know from having listened to you on another podcast, which is how I came to know you and how we came to connect, that you were on boats. You just told me that you came over on a plane, I had a feeling there were multiple means of transportation. Tell us about how you were able to escape initially? Because it wasn't on a 747 if I'm not mistaken.


Amy M. Lee  23:08

That is correct, Anna, so it took my mom several attempts and several years to actually raise enough money to find our passage onto a rickety, old, shrimp trawler. In the middle of the night, we and 40 other boat refugees snuck out and ended up in the South China Sea. And we drifted there for about five days and four nights, I think it was, before we saw land. And we ended up going through the Gulf of Thailand, we ended up at this island, which we were then sent away. And we burned our boat and swam to shore and decided that you know what? We're just gonna sit here and you government officials are gonna have to figure out what to do with us. (laughter)


Anna Jaworski  23:52

Wow! You were able to swim to shore even though you were such a little girl and you had a hole in your heart and you were relatively small for your age.


Amy M. Lee  24:02

I was born premature. I was very small. And again, very sick, and frail, and malnourished. What got me to shore honestly, is my mom threw me in the water. And my cousin put me on a piece of wood, like a driftwood, or something, a piece of the boat. And then my mom jumped in and swam to shore pushing me on this little thing.


Anna Jaworski  24:22

Oh my goodness, the love of a mother. Right?


Amy M. Lee  24:26

Absolutely! Yeah, she's the best, strong, brave.


Anna Jaworski  24:29

And that shows too, though, how your cousin was so resourceful to grab a piece of wood and put you on top of that wood. Because I can't imagine how you could have swum to shore.


Amy M. Lee  24:40

Oh, yeah. And a lot of people didn't know how to swim.


Anna Jaworski  24:42

Oh!


Amy M. Lee  24:43

And actually, a lot of the boat people who were planning their escape try to learn how to swim before actually escaping. That was their plan was to learn how to swim first, but again, many didn't and many lost their lives.


Anna Jaworski  24:57

Wow! How has learning your mother's story and telling her story in your book helped you to understand your own life story better?


Amy M. Lee  25:07

We are all parts of a whole, right? And we come from the generation before us. So I think it's very important to have a strong foundation and pave that path for future generations. I know my mom did that for me. And her family did that for her. In telling my mom's story, it’s also in a way telling my story, which I hope that one day my son will be able to listen to this podcast, and listen to the stories, and read the books, and really understand where he came from, but also to live his life with meaning and purpose, you know, for his family in the future.


Anna Jaworski  25:42

Right? Because your mother sacrificed to give you a better life, and you've made sacrifices so he can have a better life.


Amy M. Lee  25:51

Yeah, exactly.


Anna Jaworski  25:53

So tell us the names of your books and where people can get your books.


Amy M. Lee  25:58

I have a trilogy, the debut novel is “Snow in Vietnam.” And that's about our escape from Vietnam, followed by “Snow in Seattle”, which is about us building our life in America in the midst of trauma and PTSD. And then the third book just published. It's called “Snow's Kitchen.” And it's actually a novella and cookbook. So the first part of the book is about my formative years as a teenager learning how to live a double life basically, between two cultures. But then there's always food around us as I was growing up. And so the second half is actually a cookbook with all these recipes from my family and some that I've made up myself.


Anna Jaworski  26:39

Oh my goodness! I'm going to have to get that one. My husband loves to cook. We love Asian food, all different kinds of Asian food. And so we love Thai food. I haven't had much Vietnamese food. I'll be honest with you, and I don't know what the difference is between Vietnamese and Thai food. I'm hoping they're somewhat similar. Can you tell me the difference?


Amy M. Lee  26:58

I think with Vietnamese, we’re very brothy foods, a lot of our foods are soup-based, and less saucy, I think. And I could be wrong, but I feel like Thai food has a lot of sauce and a lot of peanut sauce, whereas Vietnamese food is more of a fish-sauce-based type of food.


Anna Jaworski  27:17

Okay, well, where can we find your book, Amy?


Amy M. Lee  27:20

You can go to your independent bookstores and support them and they can get the book for you. Or you can go online like Barnes and Noble or Amazon and get the books and there it's available in three different formats eBook, paperback, and hardcover.


Anna Jaworski  27:34

Thank you so much for coming on the program today, Amy. It has been a delight listening to you and getting to know you better.


Amy M. Lee  27:41

Thank you so much, Anna. It's been a pleasure. And I thank you so much for doing what you're doing for the community. It's been a pleasure having a chance to talk to you and listening to your podcasts.


Anna Jaworski  27:51

Oh, well, there's definitely a mutual admiration society going on here. I can't wait to read your books and Friends, make sure you check out her books. It's Amy Le, but there's only one E. So it's easy. Just few letters to type in their AMY. And she uses her middle initial which is M, just like my middle initial is M, mine is for Marie. What's your middle name? Do you mind if I ask?


Amy M. Lee  28:13

It's Magdalena.


Anna Jaworski  28:14

Oh, that's why you use just “M.” I get it. (laughter) Your middle name is longer than your first name and your last name put together. (laughter)


Amy M. Lee  28:26

So true, but there's so many ‘Amy Le's in the Vietnamese community. So I have to somewhat distinguish myself.


Anna Jaworski  28:32

There you go. So now we all know Amy Magdalena Le but she just goes by Amy M. Le and it's one E. And the books are again, “Snow in Vietnam”, Snow in Seattle”,  and “Snow’s Kitchen. I hope I have you back on the show again sometime in the future. Amy. I know that we have more things to talk about. We're not done with you yet. You'll have to come back.


Amy M. Lee  28:54

I would love to. Thank you.


Anna Jaworski  28:56

Well, that does conclude this episode of “Heart to Heart with Anna.” Thanks for listening today. Please come back anytime we have many many shows in the archives. So you can check us out anytime you want. You can always visit us at our website which is www.HeartsUnitetheGlobe.org. We have all kinds of resources there for the congenital heart defect community. Remember my friends, you are not alone.


Conclusion  29:23

Thank you again for joining us this week. We hope you have been inspired and empowered to become an advocate for the congenital heart defect community. “Heart to Heart with Anna” and your host Anna Jaworski can be heard every Tuesday at 12 noon, Eastern Time.