Respiratory Distress and Failure to Thrive

Fumio almost didn’t make it.


Fumio and Glenn had a natural affinity from the start.

At birth, Fumio lacked the basic reflexes a newborn baby should have and was not expected to live. Too weak to suck and swallow, he was hospitalized and tube fed for the first three months of life. As his parents watched their little boy struggle to breathe and do what other kids did effortlessly, they began to search for help that would lead them to The Institutes.
Upon learning about The Institutes, Fumio’s parents made plans to bring him to be evaluated by the staff and prescribed an intensive treatment program at home.


Fumio at his first visit to The Institutes.

At his initial evaluation he could not walk across the room without falling down, he could not talk, and he had significant respiratory problems. Parents did an intensive home program with Fumio daily. He began a physical program of crawling and creeping to provide better neurological organization.

Fumio’s parents were taught how to design a very stimulating intellectual program – he loved it.

He was also given a nutritional program to insure he was healthy enough to do his program and to provide a better physiological environment for the brain. Fumio’s parents were taught how to design a very stimulating intellectual program for him. This included teaching little Fumio to read, to write, to learn mathematics, and to gain encyclopedic knowledge of the world around him. Fumio loved all of it.

The program that was originally developed for Fumio is today a life-saving program for hurt kids around the world.

Fumio, like most brain-injured children, had severe breathing problems. These breathing problems lead to the brain not receiving enough oxygen, which is vital for brain growth and development. Glenn Doman and the staff of The Institutes searched for new ways that would help Fumio be able to breathe better. The program that was originally developed for Fumio is today a life-saving program for hurt kids around the world.


Fumio and his older sister show off his bloated belly, which was symptomatic of his immature respiration.

Fumio thrived on his new program. His breathing improved, and with it he progressed physiologically, intellectually, and physically. This little boy began to live, breathe, and function normally. When Fumio was five years old, he wrote Glenn Doman a letter.


Fumio thrived on his new program.

In that letter he said he thought he was ready to graduate. Glenn and the staff evaluated Fumio and they agreed that he was now well and ready to graduate from his home treatment program and go to school with his peers.

While Fumio was only five, he was smart and mature. He made a special graduation request. He asked his parents and the staff to allow him to attend the Evan Thomas Institute International School, on The Institutes campus in Philadelphia.

His wish was granted.

By age five Fumio was headed back to Philadelphia, but this time all by himself to attend school.

At age five he applied for and was issued a student visa. At that time the State Department of the United States said he was the youngest student ever to receive a student visa. He then traveled, by himself, from Tokyo to Philadelphia to attend The International School. He spoke no English and had never attended school of any kind – and he was eight thousand miles away from his home.

We expected he might want to stay 8 to 12 weeks if all went well. Instead Fumio spent the next three years as an exchange student in the school.


Two extraordinary men: At The Institutes Fumio has the opportunity to learn from Bill Johntz, one of the greatest teachers of the 20th century.


Fumio and his classmates welcome our most famous supporter, Liza Minnelli. They love her and she loves them!

In the Evan Thomas Institute, Fumio made friends with every student and lived with each family so he could get to know everyone. His classmates had also been raised on The Institutes program for well children; they were early readers, writers, and mathematicians, as he was.


Tails and kimono! Fumio and his classmates are invited to attend the annual Adelle Davis Formal Ball at The Institutes.

The Children’s Center is not far from the Evan Thomas Institute, a short pathway on The Institutes campus will take you from one to the other. However, it can also be a very long road. Fumio, and now many others, have made the full journey, paving their own pathway to wellness.


Fumio was physically excellent. Here he completes the difficult rope climb, which is part of the Human Development Course.

After his wonderful time in the Evan Thomas Institute, Fumio returned home to Japan to continue his education. After graduating from university, he went on to become an engineer, just like his dad. He has created a wonderful life for himself. He is happily married, and now has two children – a son and daughter. Glenn Doman always believed that children should stand on their parents shoulders, and Fumio believes the same for his children.


Fumio and his daughter

In 2012, Fumio returned to Philadelphia to attend Glenn Doman’s 93rd birthday. Both Glenn and Fumio were reunited for the celebration.


Fumio with his mother and father greet Glenn on his 93rdbirthday and introduce Fumio’s son and daughter for the first time.


Janet Doman, Susan Aisen, and Katie Doman bid farewell to Fumio and his wife and family. They are ready to leave their home in Philadelphia to return to their home in Japan, but this is not an ending. It is another beginning for Fumio and his wonderful family.

Learn More About the “What To Do About Your Brain-Injured Child Course”

Get More Help

25 Things you need to know

Free Resource

This powerful PDF provides you with the tools needed to really help your brain-injured child. Get Now


Free Masterclass

This masterclass is the first step in getting the guidance and support you need. Watch Here

Intellectual icon

Upcoming Courses

Develop an actionable plan to improve your child's condition and well-being today Learn More

Talk To Us