Honolulu girl gets second chance at life

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A parent of a 12-year-old should be thinking about school, sports, and friends.

The last things they should be worried about are hospital visits, medical bills, and not knowing if their daughter will survive.

But that's exactly what the Kobayashi's of Honolulu have been doing the past five months.

"Just so much things go through your mind…the world becomes really small, you just get really focused on the care for your daughter," David Kobayashi said.

Kobayashi is talking about his 12-year-old daughter Julie.

Julie was admitted to Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Child hospital in November of last year.

Doctors there diagnosed her with myocarditis, a life-threatening heart condition.

"They said it's like a 75-percent chance that people recover from it. The other 25-percent is usually limited recovery or not recover at all," said Kobayashi.

Julie needed a heart transplant.  But Hawaii doesn't offer those, so Julie had to be transported to Seattle Children's Hospital in Washington for the operation.

"They continued those treatments and tried other treatments to hopefully give the heart a chance to heal and it didn't," he said.

In fact, Julie got worse.

So they put in a device to assist the heart in pumping blood to the organs.

The procedure worked and Julie was discharged in February. But she still needed a healthy heart.

A week later, Kobayashi got a phone call that was music to his ears.

"A week to the day she got discharged we received a call that a heart was available."

Kobayashi watched his little girl lie helplessly in the hospital bed for five months and now he can't help to think about everything she went through.

"It was really hard to watch. She went through a lot of pain.  It's just gut-wrenching like an emotional roller coaster," he said.

But he's thankful Julie is getting a second chance at life.

Several fundraisers are being held to help the family pay for mounting hospital bills.

If you would like to help, the family has set up an account at Bank of Hawaii.

Just make checks payable to the "Hearts of Hope for Julie Kobayashi."

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