In Honor of Mika Ohigashi

A message from Mark Ohigashi:

Alli and I have been at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford for the past 9 weeks fighting for our daughter's life. Mika developed fulminant viral myocarditis a week before her 3rd birthday. A condition so rare that there is no incidence rate. This all started with a fever for 4 days with no other symptoms, and in less than 24 hours after being taken to Kapiolani Medical Center's Emergency Room with complaints of sudden-onset chest pain and shortness of breath, she went into cardiac arrest. During 27 minutes of CPR and multiple defibrillations, Mika was surgically placed on life-supporting ECMO (a heart-lung bypass machine). After treating a potentially stroke-causing blood clot that formed in her heart, Mika was emergently flown and transported to Lucile Packard while on ECMO. Alli and I flew on a separate commercial flight since Kapiolani's custom ECMO sled and the 5 members of their Transport Team needed all the space possible on the chartered jet.

After more than 2 months in Palo Alto, we are guardedly optimistic to report that after 19.5 days on ECMO (another rare statistic), over a month of intubation, and over 1.5 months of dialysis, Mika appears to be recovering well and will be home on Christmas Eve. Although on a road to recovery, she will not be returning to Honolulu without a reminder of what has happened to her. As the result of a complication of life-saving ECMO, one of her feet required amputation, so Mika will need intensive physical therapy and life-long prosthetics.

We have only told family and very close friends where we were and what we've been going through because this whole time we didn't know if we would be flying back home as a family of 3 or 2. We are sharing this story with everyone now because we are so grateful to be able to hug and kiss our daughter everyday, and wanted to thank all those involved in her care that have returned our spunky, inquisitive and fun-loving little girl to us. Mika really is only alive and on her way to recovery because of all those at Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Children that put their personal lives on hold to save Mika and our family. We humbly ask, this Christmas, to please donate to Kapiolani in Mika's name in the hopes that their life-saving services and outstanding care will continue and will be able to expand in the future to include services that are currently only available at mainland facilities. Mahalo nui loa, mele kalikimaka and hau'oli makahiki hou!