Nathalie Roff Interview
Dr. Nathalie Ho Roff was born in Saigon, Vietnam, in 1966. She grew up in Saigon during the Vietnam War, and her family remained there for three years after 1975. During that time, her parents bought French citizens’ papers for two of her sisters and a brother, who were then able to escape to France. In 1978, her parents bought a legal pass out of the country, and her family and her father’s brother’s family left Vietnam by boat. Tragically, however, their boat sank, and Nathalie lost many members of her family, including both her parents. The survivors— Nathalie, her brother, her uncle, and two cousins—made it to a refugee camp in Pulau Bidong, Malaysia. They remained there for five months until, in 1979, they were sponsored to come to the U.S. by a church in Hampton, VA. Later that year, one of Nathalie’s sisters came to the U.S. from France and brought Nathalie and her brother to Houston. They stayed friends with the family until her sister was able to afford to rent an apartment. During this time, Nathalie attended Alief Hastings High School. She then put herself through college at the University of Texas at Austin, where she studied Biology. She then earned her MD at the Baylor College of Medicine, where she specialized in internal medicine. Currently, she lives in Houston with her husband and three children, and she is training for a subspecialization in geriatric medicine.