WASHINGTON – A 1-year-old Japanese girl who received a multiple-organ transplant in December in the United States died Tuesday at a Miami hospital due to infection-related sepsis, the hospital said.
Ayaka Kandatsu, who was suffering from a rare intestinal disorder, had transplant surgery on five organs — stomach, pancreas, liver, and small and large intestines — on Dec. 17 at the University of Miami’s Jackson Memorial Hospital.
Her parents took her to the United States because Japanese law prohibits the transplant of organs from people under 15, which means children like Kandatsu cannot receive transplants in Japan. Kandatsu had been recovering steadily aside from a brief rejection of the organs, which caused her to be hospitalized in January, according to her surgeon, Tomoaki Kato.
But her condition worsened Saturday and she began having heart attacks Sunday, then organ failure. At her parents’ request, the girl’s unaffected organs will be donated for transplant.