(CNN)A Vietnamese boy who was found stuffed into a suitcase after being smuggled into the UK has written a letter thanking Britain for giving him a home.
Phong, then aged 16, was discovered in a life-threatening condition last year at the English port of Dover, a main entry point for vehicles crossing the English Channel.
He had been placed in a suitcase and stowed in the back of a car, and was rushed to hospital before being placed in a foster home. The driver of the car was jailed for 18 months for people smuggling.
"Dear England, I'm writing a letter to tell you what a difference you have made to my life. You have saved my life. You have given me a family and a home," Phong said in his message, which was released by local authorities in Kent.
"When I came to the UK, when I woke up in the hospital I was very scared and panic. I don't know where I am, what happen to me, I hurt all over my body and couldn't eat. I could only use my neck and fingers just a little bit."
He added that he had passed an entry-level English language exam. "Thank you to everyone for helping me with English and myself. Now I believe in myself and I am positive instead of negative."
"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.
"I am looking forward to doing entry 3 in college in September. I'm not sure I can pass but I will do my best. I hope I can make you proud," he wrote.
"My mum helped me with this letter. One more time thank you for changing my life."