5-year-old who battled leukemia, flesh-eating fungus finally home after year in Long Beach hospital

Jin Atsumi, who moved to the U.S. from Japan with his family, became ill shortly after arriving.

Jaysha Patel Image
Friday, November 11, 2022
5-year-old who battled cancer, flesh-eating fungus home from hospital
Jin Atsumi, a 5-year-old in Long Beach who battled leukemia and a flesh-eating fungus, is finally going home after more than a year in the hospital.

LONG BEACH, Calif. (KABC) -- A 5-year-old who battled leukemia and a flesh-eating fungus is making a remarkable recovery and is finally being discharged from the hospital after more than a year.

Jin Atsumi is a 5-year-old boy who is being discharged from MemorialCare Miller Children's & Women's Hospital in Long Beach Thursday.

He has been in the hospital for more than a year.

Jin and his parents are from Japan and have since moved to the United States.

Shortly after they arrived, Jin became ill.

He was diagnosed with childhood leukemia and began treatment in 2021.

He quickly contracted a deadly fungal infection because his immune system was severely compromised due to treatment.

"It basically is like a flesh-eating fungus and it ate through part of his brain, part of his sinuses, and it was spreading towards his eyes," said Dr. Tempe Chen, a pediatric infectious disease physician at MemorialCare Miller Children's & Women's Hospital.

The care team at the hospital had to change his chemotherapy so they could treat his fungal infection.

Jin had plastic surgery using skin and bone from other parts of his body to reconstruct parts of his forehead and a nose.

Doctors said Jin and his family were resilient through it all.

"That's got to be scary for a kid to have so many surgeries. At one point he was going to the OR every two days," Chen said.

After more than a year at the hospital, Jin is finally able to go home.

He will be taking oral chemotherapy medication, and will have anti-fungal therapy as well as a white cell booster.

Follow Jaysha on social media: