OKAYAMA – A 20-year-old man who underwent a lung transplant operation in the United States in 1998 died early Friday at a hospital in Okayama Prefecture.
Makoto Harada died from respiratory failure due to chronic immunological rejection a little more than five years after the operation, Okayama University Hospital said. Friday was Harada’s birthday.
Harada was suffering from primary pulmonary hypertension, which causes blood vessels to contract, constricting the flow of blood, according to the hospital.
He received two lungs from a brain-dead donor at Washington University Hospital in St. Louis in May 1998.
He recovered from the transplant, but his respiratory functions began to deteriorate in late 2000. He was hospitalized Tuesday after experiencing difficulty breathing.
A law allowing organ transplants from brain-dead donors took effect in 1997 in Japan, but Harada went to the United States because there is a shortage of donors in Japan and his condition was considered very serious.
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