Okinawan boy undergoes successful heart transplant surgery in NY

Okinawan boy undergoes successful heart transplant surgery in NY

Rai Matsushima

March 2, 2015 Ryukyu Shimpo

Thirteen-year-old Rai Matsushima, who suffers from severe heart disease, received successful heart transplant surgery at Columbia University Hospital in New York, on February 28, Japan time.

The Raikun-sukuu-kai, the fund-raising group for the boy, announced the news on its website on March 1.

Rai’s parents sent a message, which was shared on the website. It said; “Thanks to your warm support for our son; we could make this happen,” “We will not be able to rest until his physical condition becomes stable. We believe he will show his smile again soon.”

Rai was waiting for a donor heart for about three months at the hospital after he left Okinawa last December. According to members of the fundraising group, the boy’s father Yoshimichi seemed to be relieved when he told them about his son’s successful surgery over the phone. Rai returned to the intensive care unit at 8:30 a.m. on February 28, after he underwent the surgery successfully.

The parents are at his side, while he receives follow-up care in the hospital. It is not yet decided when he will be discharged from the hospital and sent back to Okinawa.

A fund-raising campaign was carried out in Okinawa and other prefectures to help him undergo heart transplant surgery in the United States.

(English translation by T&CT)

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