1. ITV Report

Vietnamese boy smuggled into the UK writes touching thank you letter

Phong has written a letter to the people of England. Credit: Kent County Council

A Vietnamese boy who travelled to England in a suitcase in the back of a car has written a thank you letter to the country he now calls home.

Phong was just 16 years old when he was rushed to hospital in a life-threatening condition after being found in a suitcase stowed in the back of a car in Dover last year.

The driver was jailed for 18 months after pleading guilty to people smuggling.

The teenager spent six days in hospital and was placed into foster care in Kent.

Phong, who is originally from Vietnam, has written a letter thanking everyone who has helped him since he arrived in the UK and showing him life can be a "big rainbow" instead of "darkness".

The teenager was found in a suitcase in the back of a car in Dover last year. Credit: PA

In the letter, addressed to "Dear England", he thanks the "kind" hospital staff who smiled at him and gave him biscuits, orange and water.

He has since been fostered by a family in Ashford, Kent, and is learning English and Maths.

"It’s the first time I’ve had a bedroom.

"Now I have a mum, brother, sister, grandad, etc," Phong writes.

"At first I couldn’t speak English very well.

"We practiced every day."

He is preparing to start college in September where he will study Entry 3 English.

His letter continues: "Thank you for finding me, making me better in hospital.

"Thank you for giving me a family, they love me and me too.

"Thank you for giving me an education.

"Thank you social services and government for your help and care.

"I never believed I would be loved.

"There is now a big rainbow in my life instead of darkness."

Phong's foster carer Christine Burge said: "Phong is an incredible young man who has grown so much since he arrived.

"He passed all of his exams, his confidence has grown and he has friends.

"He makes me very proud everyday.

"He really is the most caring and determined boy I have ever met."