Fundraising for Okinawan infant with severe heart disorder reaches 350 million yen

Fundraising for Okinawan infant with severe heart disorder reaches 350 million yen

On January 5 at the Okinawa Prefectural Government building, the father of Noa Onaga, Tsukasa Onaga (left), and a representative of Operation Save Noa, Makoto Taira, announced the achievement of reaching the fundraising target.

January 6, 2016 Ryukyu Shimpo

On January 5, Operation Save Noa, a volunteer group to support one-year-old Noa Onaga who needs to travel to the United States for a heart transplant because of a severe heart disorder, held a press conference at the Okinawa Prefectural Government building. The organization announced that their fundraising had hit a target of 320 million yen within three months of starting last September. Noa and her parents will go to the United States in the week of the 17th of this month.

Noa will be examined at Columbia University Medical Center in New York and wait for a donor to be found. The support group assumes that it takes one to three months from arrival in the United States to get a heart transplant, according to previous cases. Noa’s family is planning to stay in the United States for one year, including the hospitalization time after the surgery.

A representative of the support group, Makoto Taira, said, “We strongly feel the weight of the support from people in Okinawa and throughout Japan. We will continue to support Noa until she comes back well to Okinawa.” The group will consider donating to other organizations if there is any surplus from the fund. A representative of the group stated, “We will give out the money in adherence with the spirit of mutual help.”

Noa’s father, Tsukasa, 39, showed his appreciation and said, “We want to show everyone a healthy Noa without a partial mechanical heart.”

(English translation by T&CT and Megumi Chibana) 

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