Yoshi gets a “Yoshi valve” from Dr. Yoshi

Smiling child and smiling doctor in scrubs pose for a photo in front of a metal sculpture and a hospital entrance.

Yoshua (better known as “Yoshi”) was born with a double diagnosis of Trisomy 21 (Down Syndrome) and a congenital heart defect called Tetralogy of Fallot. Now 13, Yoshi receives care at OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital – most recently with another Yoshi, Dr. Yoshio Otaki (pictured above). Below, Yoshi’s mom, Makiko, shares their story.

When Yoshi was four months old, he had repair surgery in Florida for his ventricular septal defect (VSD) and pulmonary valve stenosis. His pulmonary valve had to be removed entirely because of the severe stenosis.

Young person lies in hospital bed while someone performs an ultrasound on their chest. The next year, we moved to Oregon and started seeing pediatric cardiologists at OHSU Doernbecher. During a checkup earlier this year, Dr. Lars Grosse-Wortmann told us that Yoshi’s right ventricle was significantly enlarged and advised us to move forward with a pulmonary valve replacement.  As we explored different valve options, he told us about Dr. Yoshio Otaki, who offered a new type of valve that was previously unavailable. At Doernbecher they call it the “Yoshi valve.” It’s a custom-made tri-leaflet valve made out of Gore-tex with good longevity and outcomes for patients.

Dr. Yoshi and I connected over our shared native language, Japanese, which was encouraging. I learned that he has implanted valves for more than 50 patients with excellent results. We decided to go with the “Yoshi valve!”

Yoshi had his surgery in August and was able to go home from the hospital in three days. His recovery has been remarkable – his stamina has visibly increased. He’s a happy boy with lots of energy again!

Smiling child sits on colorful couch in a hospital waiting room.

Three weeks after the surgery, we had the chance to see Dr. Yoshi at Doernbecher. He was sincerely happy to see Yoshi and asked how he was doing and whether his physical strength had improved. As a surgeon, he said he rarely gets to see his patients after the surgery, so we were mutually delighted to see one another!

I want to thank Dr. Yoshi, Dr. Ashok MuralidaranDr. Grosse-Wortmann, our nurse navigator Annie Kachmann, Yoshi’s anesthesiologist, and all of the staff. They were wonderful throughout our stay and we’re so grateful that we chose Doernbecher for Yoshi’s cardiac surgery.

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