Minh Anh is a Vietnamese boy with a rare and terrible skin condition

Duration: 45:25 Minutes

Unfortunately, this content is not available in the following territories: China, Republic of Ireland, United Kingdom

Distributor: ITV Global

Minh Anh's one source of pleasure is taking cool showers to soothe his sore skin

He lives on a special ward in a Saigon hospital, where his scaly skin has earned him the nickname 'Ca' - Vietnamese for fish. 

The Tu Du Hospital looks after orphans who, the doctors believe, are descended from people exposed to Dioxin, a chemical contaminant of Agent Orange. 

Abandoned as a toddler, Minh Ahn's only friends on the ward are fellow orphans and medical staff.

His one daily delight is taking a shower, cool water helping to soothe his cracked and sore skin.

Painful scales cover his entire body which has left him isolated from the general public

8000 miles away in Essex, England, great-granny Brenda Smith loves Minh Anh like a son. 

For fifteen years Brenda has dedicated her life to helping Minh Anh.

Their lives are worlds apart worlds apart, but year after year Brenda's love for Mihn Ahn draws her back to Vietnam.

However, Brenda’s getting old, and isn't sure how long she can keep making the long journey to Saigon.

Brenda, from Essex, visits Mihn Ahn every year despite the distance

Brenda travels to Vietnam, determined to try and make a lasting difference to Minh Anh's life as she fears it may be the last time they will meet.

She takes Minh Anh swimming and out for meals; something others wouldn't dare to do.

Tu Du Hospital doctors decide to try a retinoid drug treatment suggested by Dr Paige, a UK skin specialist.  

Can Brenda's efforts transform Minh Ahn's life?  Or now Minh Ahn is eighteen, is he ready to move on with the help of his local friends?

Sadly, the medical treatment is unsuccessful - it transpires that Minh Ahn is one of the unlucky minority whose condition doesn't respond to treatment.  

But happily for Brenda, Minh Ahn is making lots of new friends and loves his regular swimming trips.  

Despite his progress, Brenda decides that she can't leave her "adopted son", and vows to keep coming back to Vietnam for as long as she can make the journey.