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Governor leads ceremony despite suffering a stroke

Date Posted: 2007-06-28

Okinawa's governor is resting comfortably in a local hospital after a light cerebral infarction Friday night.

Governor Hirokazu Nakaima was feeling uncomfortable Friday night, Vice Governor Zenki Nakazato says, but chose to go ahead with plans for leading Saturday ceremonies honoring the end to the 1945 Battle of Okinawa. Nakaima was feeling worse Saturday morning, calling his doctor to tell him “my pronunciation is something wrong. I can’t talk. What’s wrong with me?” Told to report to the hospital immediately after the ceremonies at Memorial Peace Park in Itoman, Nakaima led the ceremonies and even gave his speech.

Once at the hospital, doctors diagnosed the light cerebral infarction, commonly referred to as a stroke. Nakaima is hospitalized for a week, where doctors “are giving medicines and doing treatment of blood vessels to make them wider.” One doctor says the Governor “has two places where blood vessels are thin, but he is doing well.

“His senses, talking, nerves and movement are well, now,” one doctor reports. “He will be alright. He will be back to work July 9th. The 67-year-old governor told the vice governor he wanted to participate in the Prefecture Assembly’s business meetings which run from June 28th to July 3rd, “to answer their questions”, but doctors, the Assembly and the vice governor rejected his offer.

“We want to help you,” the governor was told, “but you have to stay at the hospital and get treatment, and get well quickly, and then come back.” Doctors say the governor’s mental and language abilities are not affected by the stroke, and say they will not have to perform any operations. “He doesn’t need that much heavy treatment,” said one doctor, “but he needs the medicines that will make his blood vessels go wider.”

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