Jun’s Story (English)

Jun Honda is fourth-year college student studying health welfare and sports, and an incredibly avid sports enthusiast. He is the captain of his university’s lacrosse team where he is adored by his teammates and cheered to victory on the field.

Jun at a lacrosse game

Jun at a lacrosse game

Jun has been working at a high-end Izakaya (Japanese pub) in Tokyo for the past four years and has become a leader for the part-time workers there. He loves his job and is great at serving and entertaining customers. There are even some customers who visit the izakaya again and again to experience Jun’s great service and happy and entertaining spirit.

Like many young people in Tokyo, Jun likes going shopping and keeping up on the latest fashions. He’s also interested in education, and he is planning to make a career of teaching kids to have integrity, honesty, and determination by participating in sports.

But all of these things were suddenly put on hold on August 22, 2009 when Jun was in a motorbike accident while riding to his early morning lacrosse practice. He was rushed by ambulance to a nearby hospital. Though Jun had been wearing a helmet while riding his motorbike, it had fallen off upon impact with the other vehicle, and he received considerable injury to his chest and to his head.

For more than a week, Jun was on a respirator, unable to breathe on his own. To the delight and relief of his family, friends, and girlfriend, by September 3, his lungs healed enough so that he could breathe again without a respirator, but his head injuries continue to keep him in an unconscious state. They had to wait for an MRI for more than three weeks while his broken jaw healed, and the test eventually revealed that Jun had received considerable damage to his brain stem and frontal lobes.

Jun was unable to communicate, or to show signs of normal consciousness for about two months. He has had to remain in the hospital under the constant care of doctors and nurses, and until recently, he was only able to eat through a tube to his stomach. His parents, sister, and girlfriend have been traveling to the hospital, one hour away by train, to visit him at least once every day. They have been talking to him, encouraging him to fight to get better, and telling him how much they love him.

In the past few weeks, Jun has started to improve dramatically. His neurologist is hesitant to say he is truly “conscious” yet (there may be a difference in the meaning of the English and Japanese words for “consciousness”), but he has been able to respond to his family and friends’ words, and to control his body movements. He is able to eat food normally, and he can even drink water by himself!

Jun’s family is so happy that he is doing so well, but they have some worries, too. Standard Japanese medical insurance only provides coverage for everyday treatment for common injuries and illnesses. Other insurance must be purchased separately. Because Jun is such a young man (22 years old), he and his family did not expect that he would need insurance coverage for such long-term medical care. Since his doctors are not yet certain to what degree he will recover from his accident, how long that recovery might take, or the effects of this on the rest of his life, the details of his insurance are still unsettled.

The Honda family is bearing the burden of the hospital costs on their own. Kunio (Papa) and Masako (Mama) have been working less in order to spend time with Jun in the hospital, and Mihori (sister) is changing her career plans in order to make more money and have more free to spend with her brother and parents. So you can imagine why we, friends of the Honda family, thought we should establish this website to let people know of the family’s struggle.

Please check the recent posts in the right sidebar for the latest on Jun’s progress. If you are so inclined, leave comments and wishes for the family to read. And if you can, please help the Honda family pay for Jun’s medical expenses by using the button in the sidebar. When you donate, you will be sending money to Mihori Honda’s PayPal account. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you for your kind thoughts and prayers!

— Friends of Jun