• Kyodo

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A 1-year-old Japanese boy with a serious heart problem has successfully undergone heart transplant surgery at a U.S. hospital, his support group said.

According to the group, Kazuki Kurosaka, from the city of Kusatsu in Shiga Prefecture, received the transplant at Loma Linda University hospital, south of San Bernardino, Calif., last Wednesday.

Kazuki had been suffering from dilated cardiomyopathy, a disease that causes the heart muscles to enlarge. He left for the United States in late September.

The group said the boy will stay in the U.S. for another six months to receive treatment.

In Japan, organs from children younger than 15 cannot be used for transplants, prompting many children with heart ailments and other health problems to go overseas to receive life-saving operations.

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