Hope for Suzu: Japanese girl fights for her life at Cincinnati Children's Hospital

Suzu placed on active lung transplant waiting list
Posted at 9:36 AM, Aug 31, 2016

CINCINNATI -- Even though she's still very fragile, a little Japanese girl who circled the globe to fight for her life at Cincinnati Children's Hospital has good news. 

Twenty-one-month-old Suzu Kaneda is now active on the lung transplant waiting list along with becoming more alert and responsive during the month she has been at the hospital. 

Parents Masahiro and Kaori Kaneda flew thousands of miles to Cincinnati with their little daughter at the end of July to treat Suzu's pulmonary vein stenosis. The condition means there's a blockage in the vessels bringing blood from the lungs back to her heart. The cause isn't known, and it usually gets worse over time.

Suzu and her twin sister, Saya, were diagnosed with the condition in January 2015, two months after they were born. Saya didn't survive.

Suzu had been sedated and asleep since before her flight to Ohio. Her mother posted the video below to Facebook on Aug. 27, writing "as a test, I showed her her favorite book and pointed at some pictures. Then her eyes followed the pictures, and she tried to turn the pages. It looks like her mind is becoming clearer."

Better than being alert, Suzu's active status on the lung transplant waiting list is critical since she may also need a heart transplant. Her family raised more than $2.6 million to get to the United States and save her life.

Follow the Kanedas' journey to save Suzu on Facebook. See more of Suzu's story on the couple's fundraising page

WCPO Editorial Cartoonist Kevin Necessary drew this get-well card you can print and color for Suzu. When you're finished, mail or bring it to WCPO 9 On Your Side (1720 Gilbert Ave., Cincinnati OH 45202), and we'll make sure it gets to her family.

A big THANK YOU goes out to the 100 or so viewers who have already submitted colored pages to us to forward to Suzu's family!

Click or tap the image to download a printable PDF copy: