Teenaged Lien Troung came to America with one goal: find her father, Tom Hughes. Lien was conceived while Tom was in Vietnam and by the time Lien's mother knew she was pregnant, Tom was gone. After her mother's death, a wary Lien showed up at Tom's house and introduced herself. To her surprise, she was immediately accepted and welcomed into the Hughes family. After a few years in Oakdale, where she had a relationship with Duke Kramer, Lien decided to follow her father's example and become a lawyer and left town to attend law school.
Years later, Lien returned to town and accepted a job offer at her father's law firm. Her first client was Dr. Ben Harris, who needed help in adopting a teenager. Working on the case, she and Ben grew close. Soon, the pair grew closer and starting dating. Soon, Lien started feeling ill and suddenly passed out. Dying, she was diagnosed with a diseased caused by Agent Orange in the atmosphere where she grew up in Vietnam. Lien's chances were bleak until she was given an experimental drug that she later learned was illegal. Miraculously, she made a speedy recovery and when Ben proposed marriage she accepted. However, Tom made her see that she couldn't marry a man out of gratitude and so she had to turn Ben down. Lien was then offered her old job in Washington DC and, with Tom's blessing, accepted it.