Rai Matsushima has successful heart transplant surgery

Rai Matsushima, a 13-year-old Kuwae Junior high school student from Chatan, who suffered from a serious cardiac disease and went to the U.S. for a heart transplant had the operation done successfully at the Colombia University Hospital in New York on Feb. 28th.

Rai was able to travel to the treatment in the U.S. in December after an Okinawan community charity effort collected ¥215 million to pay for his operation and stay in the States.

His family, who are in the hospital with him, officially announced the success of the operation and expressed appreciation for all supporters on the website of the Charity of Saving Rai at http://rai-aid.com/

According to the Charity of Saving Rai spokesman, the parents received a notification that a donor was found about 1 a.m. on the 27th (local time) and, at 8 in the morning of the same day, Rai went into the operating room for the surgery returning to his hospital at 6:30 p.m. on the same day. According to the parents, Rai is doing fine after the surgery.

Rai’s parents are scheduled to comment on the operation officially in the near future. Blood type O, the same as Rai’s blood type, is the most common blood type among people who are waiting for a heart transplant, so it took two and a half months waiting for Rai to get the surgery. The co-leader of the charity says, “We really appreciate the donor and his/her family for saving Rai’s life.  Although we still do not know specifics of Rai’s condition, it is very good to hear that he goes to the next step. We are looking forward to seeing him coming back to Okinawa.”