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Thursday, July 20, 2000

‘Skin-eating bacteria’
girl, 5, starts therapy

By Rod Ohira


A 5-year-old Wahiawa girl is waging a painful recovery battle from the effects of "skin-eating bacteria" at Sacramento's Shriners Hospital for Children.

"She began intense physical therapy a couple of days ago to prevent her muscle tissue from atrophying due to unuse," family friend Nancy Woods said about Alyshia Shimizu.

"The therapy is very hard and vigorous. They're also teaching her pain-control techniques."

Alyshia, who has been in Sacramento since June 28, lost more than 33 percent of skin tissue over her body before doctors stopped the spread of necrotizing fasciitis.

Some skin grafting has been performed, Woods said.

"They're watching the healing," she added. "Her upper body is doing well but the lower body is progressing at a slower rate."

Woods, a Sacramento resident and widow of a California Highway Patrol officer, is assisting the Shimizu family because Alyshia's father, Anthony, is a Honolulu police officer.

Woods said when her 17-year-old son was injured in Honolulu, Carl and Madeline Morikawa, who are both detectives, befriended the boy and offered support that got him through a difficult period.

"When I heard about Alyshia, I just wanted to help somehow," Woods said.

Quality Travel is flying Anthony Shimizu to Sacramento today to spend the weekend with Alyshia and his wife Annette, said Woods.

Friends in Honolulu, meanwhile, are planning a Koala Moa chicken sale for the Shimizu family to help with medical costs.

Tickets for the Aug. 26 pickup at Star of the Sea Church at 4469 Malia St. in Kahala go on sale this weekend. They will be sold Saturday and Sunday at Hawaii Kai Towne Center from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., at Star of the Sea Church on Sunday, and at Ala Moana Center Aug. 18-20 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Donations are also being accepted at all First Hawaiian Bank locations and the Honolulu Police Federal Credit Union at 1537 Young St. Checks should be payable to "Friends of Alyshia Shimizu."

Alyshia Shimizu Web Site

E-mail to City Desk

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