GEORGE F. LEE / GLEE@STARBULLETIN.COM
A happy and healthy Joshua Miyazawa, shown practicing his swing yesterday, has been invited to play T-ball in Washington, D.C., following heart surgery.
Isle T-baller’s got game, will travel to White House
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Five-year-old Joshua Miyazawa isn't going to let open-heart surgery keep him from representing Hawaii in a national all-star T-ball game July 6 at the White House.
After only two days in the hospital and a few days at home, Joshua was ready to ride his scooter, said father Jeff Miyazawa. "It was amazing; we didn't expect him to recover that quickly."
Coach Sarie Uechi said Joshua was a natural
T-baller to select for the national honor.
Joshua's father said his son will do fine. After all, Joshua has "a lot of heart," he said.
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A month ago, 5-year old Joshua Miyazawa of Moanalua had open-heart surgery; now he is headed to Washington, D.C., to represent Hawaii in a national all-star T-ball game at the White House.
The 5-year-old will play in an all-star T-ball game at the White House
Joshua was selected by Little League International to play along with all-stars from each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia, based on his coach's recommendation.
Coach Sarie Uechi said, "To me it was obvious that Josh was the right kid to pick - he loves baseball, he's cute, he talks a lot, he's energetic, he's athletic, he moves around a lot, he demonstrates fighting spirit to pull himself and his family through."
The T-ball game, to be held July 6 on the South Lawn of the White House, was started by President Bush as part of his initiative to promote softball and baseball among America's youth. Applicants from around the country are selected by Little League International on behalf of the White House.
April was the deadline for applications, but Little League International received no applications from Hawaii and notified the White House, which asked for help from U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie, who then put out the word.
Joshua's coach responded.
"Of course we're very excited," said Joshua's mother, Joanie Miyazawa. "So is he ... but he doesn't really understand how important it all is yet."
When speaking to a Star-Bulletin reporter, Joshua was at a loss for words except to note that he was "excited."
His father, Jeff Miyazawa, is confident in his little slugger. "He's got a good swing and a lot of heart, so I think he'll be fine," he said.
Joanie said her son was diagnosed with atrial septal defect late last year, a condition in which a "hole" in the heart causes inefficient processing of oxygenated blood.
To prevent possible problems later in life, Joshua had open-heart surgery at Kapiolani Hospital on May 19. Doctors cut through the rib bone and took tissue from one part of the heart to patch the "hole."
"We didn't worry too much about it. We knew it had to be done. ... Because of our faith we were really at peace with it," Joanie Miyazawa said.
Joshua was hospitalized for two days, and only a few days after returning home, his father found him strapping on his shoes to ride his scooter.
"It was amazing. We didn't expect him to recover that quickly," Jeff Miyazawa said.
He described Joshua as an energetic, sometimes naughty, precocious child. "His doctors told us that he may have more energy after the surgery - and he told his grandmother, 'You know, I feel like I have a lot more energy now.' I don't know if he really felt that or he said it just because he heard us talking about it."
"He didn't have a lack of energy to begin with, so we're like, 'Holy cow!'" Miyazawa said. "He's constantly burning energy. ... He likes to irritate his younger sister."