UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador, Kim Phúc, visits St. Elisabeth’s.

Kim Phuc

A photo taken of Phan Thi Kim Phúc (known as Kim) on Thursday 8th June 1972 made her the most famous nine year old in the world. During the Vietnam War, Kim’s village of Trang Bang became a battleground between the North and South Vietnamese forces and the actions of a South Vietnamese pilot that day changed the life of nine year old Kim and the hundreds of others caught in the napalm bombing.

As Kim ran naked, her skin burning from the effects of the napalm, Vietnamese Associated Press photographer, Nick Ut, captured what would become the most iconic and haunting images of the Vietnam War.

Ut captured a 9-year-old child in agony running from a man made hell, arms spread like a crucifixion.

Vietnam Napalm 1972

After taking the photo, Ut took Kim (along with the other injured photos) to Barsky Hospital in Saigon, where doctors determined that Kim’s burns were so severe, she was unlikely to survive.

(AP Photo/Nick Ut) 

After a 14 month stay in hospital and extensive surgeries, Kim had beaten the odds and was able to return home.

41 years later, Kim and Ut were reunited for a special exhibition in Manchester, and the pair attended a Sunday morning service at St. Elisabeth’s, Reddish.

Kim Phuc

Kim spoke to Rev. Angie about how she became a Christian as a young adult and believes that God saved her

“I believe God had a plan for me. I was in the wrong place at the wrong time and now I’m in the right place.”[1] 

Kim, is now a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador and spends her life travelling, talking and praying for world peace, and supporting children who are victims of war.

Nick and Kim forged a lifelong friendship and Nick continues to document Kim’s extraordinary life.

Photo: Jerry Clifford ©

1. Manchester Confidential interview with Kim Phuc and Nick Ut [http://www.manchesterconfidential.co.uk/culture/arts/icons-kim-phc-and-nick-ut-in-manchester]