Shoko needed medical support

Shoko first became worried when her phlegm aspirator’s battery died due to a loss of power, and she knew she might have difficulty breathing.

After the shaking stopped, did you return home?

Shoko: No, I moved to Minato Elementary School (near the Orion workshop). I stayed there for two nights, then some people from the Self-Defense Force took me to the Ishinomaki Red Cross Hospital


Around how long were you in the hospital?

Shoko: I think it was around ten days.

Kumai: Shoko needed phlegm aspiration. When I told that to the managers of the Minato Elementary shelter, they said they would arrange to have her taken to the Red Cross Hospital. Then on Sunday (3/13), they moved her. We staff assumed they would take her straight to the hospital on the day they moved her, but we later heard she actually didn’t get there until two days later.

There was a nursing school right next to the elementary school, so apparently they had assistant nurses and nursing school students looking after her for the two days she stayed at the elementary school. After that, all those nurses gathered at the Red Cross Hospital, so the nursing-care helpers continued to assist her.

I didn’t want to leave everyone.

Shoko’s friends at Orion were invaluable to her.


Ms. Kumai: When I said I wanted her to go to the hospital, Shoko didn’t want to go.

Shoko: Hehehe

Kumai: When Shoko said she didn’t want to go, I said no, you have to go.

Shoko: Hehehe


She doesn’t like the hospital?

Kumai: No, I don’t mean she doesn’t like it. She knew she would be separated from her other Orion friends if she went to the hospital, so she said, “I want to stay here with everyone.”

I think it’s the same now. If something like this happens again, I want to try to make sure we can all stay together. Because I was the one who told Shoko to go at that time, and I wished I didn’t have to do that. If something happens, everyone will feel safest if they can stay together. (Orion now has an in-house power generator in case of another disaster.)