Family, supporters issue donation plea for Kanagawa girl's heart transplant in US


Ayame Sasaki is seen in this photo provided by the "Ayame-chan o sukuu-kai" support group.
Family and supporters of 2-year-old Ayame Sasaki, who has a serious heart ailment, have put out a plea for donations to send the little girl to the United States for a heart transplant.

The fundraising group "Ayame-chan o sukuu-kai" (Ayame rescue association) estimates that it will need 310 million yen by the autumn to get Ayame a heart transplant in the U.S. A little under 17 million yen had been raised as of June 14, and the group is now turning to the public for help.

Ayame was born in May 2015 to parents from Kawasaki, Kanagawa Prefecture. Soon after, it was found that her heart muscle was not developing properly. She was diagnosed with left ventricular non-compaction cardiomyopathy (LVNC), and her heart's condition began to decline gradually. When she was a year and six months old, doctors told Ayame's parents that only a transplant would save her life. An auxiliary artificial heart was installed in November last year.

The artificial organ stabilized Ayame's condition, but using it comes with serious risks, strokes and cerebral hemorrhaging among them. And there is apparently no way to know if and when these life-threatening side effects will strike. Continue reading

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