Against the odds, can she fight her way back? How is she doing today?
Kirin lost almost all her function – and her prognosis was poor.
Kirin was a well child until the age of fifteen months, when she suddenly became ill and began to have one seizure after another. She was rushed to the hospital, and following a spinal tap and a CT scan she was diagnosed with viral encephalitis. Anticonvulsants were administered to no avail and she lapsed into a coma that lasted three days. When she awoke, she had lost all of her function, except for her eyesight and hearing. Her prognosis was poor.
Dad remembers, “The doctor handed Kirin to my arms from his arms; she was doing nothing. Her arms and legs were limp and her head was not stable. She was motionless. The doctor said this was the best they could do for her. She is alive – I was so shocked.”
Desperate to help their daughter, her parents found and read all of The Institutes books they could obtain, and they carefully studied each video that was available. From their reading and study, they designed and began a treatment program for Kirin that they began two weeks after her discharge from the hospital. At that time, she could see and hear but was completely immobile and lacked any manual function.
Due to parent’s tremendous effort, Kirin could not only walk but also she was beginning to talk in short sentences.
Kirin did a physical program every day at home with mother and father.
After one month of their program, Kirin began to crawl, and less than five months from beginning the home treatment program she began to creep. Six months later mother and father attended the What To Do About Your Brain-Injured Child course in Kobe, Japan. Following the course, they returned home and intensified their efforts.
One month after attending the course and less than a year after Kirin’s illness, she began to walk. Both parents attended The Institutes Lecture Series in Tokyo, and three months later Kirin was headed to Philadelphia for her first appointment. Due to her parents’ tremendous effort, Kirin could not only walk but also she was beginning to talk in short sentences. She was able to pick up objects, and she had not had a single seizure.
Six months later Kirin’s understanding was at peer level, and soon thereafter she was free of anticonvulsant medication.
Before beginning treatment, Kirin was fifteen months old but functioning as a six-month-old. Her diagnosis was a severe, relatively diffuse, bilateral, midbrain and cortical injury. After sixteen months of home program, she was functioning as a two-year-old, and she was almost three years old. She had learned to crawl, creep, walk, talk, and read. She could pick up small objects but was not able to use her hands together. She could not yet run and was still not free of anticonvulsants.
The Institutes staff carefully designed a home treatment program to include nutrition, oxygen enrichment, physical and intellectual stimulation and opportunity. They also began a careful program towards the elimination of anticonvulsant medication. Six months later Kirin’s understanding was at peer level, and soon thereafter she was free of anticonvulsant medication. Her home program was expanded and made more sophisticated to help her achieve her goals of being able to run, gaining significant improvement in manual coordination, and to be academically equal to or above her peers.
After completing three years of home program, Kirin was evaluated by The Institutes staff once again. Kirin was now six years of age and she could read books several grades above her peers. She was writing a full page of 100 characters in her diary each day, and she had begun to write poetry. She was able to run 3.2 kilometers (2 miles) nonstop and brachiate on an overhead ladder fifty times a day, and had begun gymnastics. She had more stamina than other children her age and was in very good health. Both her understanding and her language were above age level.
Kirin was ready for the challenge of attending regular school with students of her age.
Kirin runs 3.2 kilometers non-stop
Her parents and the staff agreed that Kirin was ready for the challenge of attending regular school with students her age. Kirin was ready to begin first grade with her well peers. Throughout the school year she received positive evaluations in every area and was more advanced than her peers in both reading and writing. She was writing in kanji while her peers were writing in hiragana. She won the superiority award in writing twice. Kirin began to learn how to play the electric organ.
Physically, Kirin continued to do well. She loved jumping rope, learning to swim, and continuing her fine gymnastics. Socially, she had many friends among her classmates and got on well with older and younger students. She was helpful in caring for and entertaining preschool children. In her progress reports Kirin’s teachers noted that she showed a great deal of self-discipline, had a very positive attitude, and strived to do her best in everything she did.
Kirin and her parents at her graduation with her staff advocate, Miki Nakayachi, and the director, Janet Doman
The following spring Kirin graduated to the second grade with her peers. She continued to succeed in all areas and excel beyond her peers in some areas. The Institutes recognized her outstanding progress, and Kirin was officially graduated from the Intensive Treatment Program.
During junior high school Kirin joined the cross-country running team and she was good at sprints. She stayed late at night training every day. In high school there was no athletic team, so she joined the photo club. Her photographs won awards in her prefecture. She was healthy and did her job well. She won the perfect attendance award from her school.
Kirin travels to Tokyo and lives by herself.
Today Kirin is training to become a wedding planner. She works in the evening in sushi shop to earn enough for her training. She lives in Tokyo independently, where she works and studies. She continues to work hard and achieve her goals.
Today Kirin is working hard and looking forward to her career.
Kirin with her Artwork
As a little girl her life was threatened, she lost almost everything except her determination and her strong will to fight her way back. Her parents made certain that she had a fighting chance to be well again. Now she can continue her journey to reach her full potential and enjoy a life of accomplishment and contribution.
Well done, Kirin, and, well done, Mother and Father.
Kirin with her friends