Nguyen Van Dom lived in Doan Lai village, Lai Xuan commune, Thuy Nguyen district of the northern port city of Hai Phong deformed but he is intelligent and can play "dan bau" (Vietnamese monochord), likes telling funny stories and always aspires for being loved.
Dom said that he was born on May 11, 1952, in a peasant family with five children. Dom is the third child. His parent and brothers and sisters have normal height and weight. When he was born, Dom looked normal like other newborn babies. But when he was two, after a critical sickness, the boy’s body has stopped developing in height and weight. Only his face has changed with time.
Dom’s parent saw a lot of doctors to seek a cure for their son but they failed. At the age of six, when children of the same age went to school, Dom stayed at home because he could not even sit.
At the age of 18 (1970), with assistance of others, Dom dragged his first walks. Five years later, he began practicing to walk, with a stick.
The young man in the body of a child suffered a lot of accidents, which caused wounds on his face, his limbs, etc. It was a miracle that Dom was still alive although he was always ill. After these accidents, Dom’s legs were twisted like a Z letter.
Dom is tiny but he is very intelligent. He did not go to school but he taught himself reading and writing. After that, Dom’s parents hired a tutor to teach Dom in two years. The man taught himself the curriculum of secondary school.
The man can make mathematic operations very quickly. He is also very good with his hands. With a small knife and a piece of bamboo or wood, he can create lovely animals.
Once hearing the sound of monochord from the radio, an idea flashed through Dom’s mind: making a monochord and teaching himself playing that instrument. A short time later, Dom became famous in the region for playing monochord.
Only listening to radio and teaching himself but Dom can play dozens of folk songs of all regions. He represented his commune to compete at many music festivals for amateurs and won prizes.
Once a military unit stationed in Dom’s commune invited him to perform at a show of soldiers. Dom still keeps a photo in which he wore a military uniform to play monochord.
Dom’s mother died in 1982. Five years later, his father also passed away. Dom presently lives with the family of his nephew, Mr. Nguyen Van Chung, a worker of a waterway transport company in Hai Phong.
Since 1992, Dom has been granted with social welfare, VND45,000 ($3) a month, which is enough to buy rice and vegetable for him because Dom eats only a small bowl of rice each meal.
The author of this article, writer Dang Vuong Hung, met with Dom in 2005 and took some photos with him. Several months after this meeting, the author was informed that Dom was admitted to the art troupe of disabled people of Hai Phong city.
On the occasion of the meeting of record makers in HCM City on May 26, 2012, which had the participation of representatives from the Asian Record Organization, masters of lucbat.com website, which has held many charity activities, planed to organize a trip to Hai Phong to see Dom and collect information about him in order to seek a regional and a world record for Dom as the shortest man in the world.
Notwithstanding, when the trip to Hai Phong was not held, they were told that Dom died in March 2006, after a stroke while he was performing in Dong Trieu district of Quang Ninh province.
With the height of 52cm, Dom is the world shortest man in the world though he has not been recognized by the Guinness World Record organization.