Question: What ever happened to Alyshia Shimizu, the 5-year-old child afflicted with a flesh-eating bacteria two years ago?
Alyshia, 5-year-old beset
by flesh-eating bacteria,
is doing well
By Rosemarie Bernardo
Answer: Anthony Shimizu, Alyshia's father and a police officer in the East Honolulu patrol district, said: "She's doing great. She's gaining all her weight back and getting back to her defiant self."
"There's nothing she cannot do. ... She falls down, but she gets right back up and keeps going," said Shimizu, adding that his daughter spends time riding her bicycle, Heelys and Razor scooter.
Alyshia contracted the flesh-eating bacteria when she fell in the garage of her Wahiawa home in June 2000. Alyshia cut her knee after she fell from a clothesline that broke. Though her cut was cleaned and stitched, it later became infected and developed into a flesh-eating disease called Necrotizing fasciitis.
Alyshia lost more than 33 percent of skin tissue before doctors stopped the spread of the disease. Scarring extended from her right calf up her leg, under her right arm and down the middle of her back and chest.
"The scars will never go away. I tell her it's OK," Shimizu said.
Alyshia had two surgeries at Kapiolani Medical Center, where doctors removed the dead tissue. She and her mother, Annette, flew to Shriners Hospital in Sacramento, Calif., where she underwent skin grafts to replace skin on her legs and torso.
Alyshia, now 7, is expected to undergo skin grafts until she is 18 years old because of growth spurts which cause the scar tissue to tighten.
The Shimizu family now lives in Ewa, where Alyshia attends Ewa Elementary School as a second-grader. Also, the Shimizus have welcomed a new addition to the family, 1-month-old Alexander.
Since Alyshia overcame the disease, Anthony Shimizu and his family continue to live each day to the fullest.
"Tomorrow may never come. We live every day to the max," he said. "Our family has gotten stronger through this."
Ever wonder what happened to a person, event or issue
that has been in the news? We'll try to find out
for you if you call the City Desk
at 529-4747, email to firstname.lastname@example.org or write us at
500 Ala Moana Blvd., Suite 7-210, Honolulu, HI 96813.