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Evacuee twins suffering from Parkinson’s disease spend month in minivan

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Twin brothers, 40, both suffering from the Parkinson’s disease, slept in their minivan for over a month after the earthquake, fearing negative reactions by other evacuees, it was learned Monday.

The brothers were found near an evacuee shelter in Koriyama, Fukushima Prefecture, by Jiro Koizumi, the president of SORD, a support organization for patients with rare diseases. SORD is an NPO raising funds for those earthquake victims suffering from severe and rare diseases.

The brothers, whose names were not released, said they initially evacuated from Tomioka-cho to a nearby shelter together with their parents, four days after the earthquake. But as soon as they began living under the same roof with other evacuees, they started feeling pressure over the way others looked at them.

The elder of the two brothers overheard a young fellow evacuee ridiculing his walk, after which he suffered from an inability to sleep and communicate with others. His condition deteriorated to the point that the center’s doctor recommended he be hospitalized for two weeks, but he refused, saying that he preferred to stay together with his family.

Out of concern for his brother’s condition, the younger twin consulted medical staff at the shelter regarding more private facilities, but was told that the situation does not allow individual treatment.

As a result, the two brothers left the evacuation shelter at the end of March and have since stayed in their minivan.

“The government should understand the importance of privacy and set up separate facilities for those in most critical need,” Koizumi said.

At SORD's initiation, the brothers were offered space in a cottage or hotel in the prefecture, but according to officials, they refused.

The doctor, to whom the younger brother turned for help, said he does not have any recollection of being asked about private facilities. “At the time there was great confusion, which may have caused miscommunication. I apologize if that was the case,” he said.

Parkinson’s disease is a disorder that leads to physical shaking and difficulty with walking, movement and coordination. The twins have suffered from the disease since they were in their mid-20s.

© Compiled from news reports

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

11 Comments
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Sad story. When I was a kid there were twin girls in my grade that had Parkinson's. They were always treated with cruelty. An unfortunate part of human nature.

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The elder of the two brothers overheard...

Out of concern for his brother’s condition, the younger twin consulted medical staff ...

Younger twin?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@sabiwabi Unless the twins were born simultaneously (coming out of their mother's womb side by side -- tough on the mother) there is a younger and older twin -- even if it is a few seconds or minutes...

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The brothers should have been evacuated.Billions of yen have been donated for cases as these. What is happening? Even now refugees are STILL sleeping on floors,young and old together,male and female.Privacy and toilet facilities,showers and baths are in short supply or lacking altogether. People are becoming sick too,the slow pace of action is appalling!

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It must be terrible for them. In the first place having the disease, but then having the ridicule heaped on them. I can see how this could make the effects of the disease worse.

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We Japanese are all pulling together! (Except for people with possible radiation poisoning and/or debilitating diseases.)

2020hingsight,

I agree. I wonder how much ridicule they got before they had to live in a gym with a couple of hundred other evacuees.

Tatanka,

In Japan the 'younger' twin is the first born - the 'older' twin has graciously allowed his or her younger sibling to leave the womb first. I don't know if that's what JT is doing, though.

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That is so damned sad to see that. But humans are humans, I guess.

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'The doctor, to whom the younger brother turned for help, said he does not have any recollection of being asked about private facilities. “At the time there was great confusion, which may have caused miscommunication. I apologize if that was the case,” he said.'

Sounds like utter BS to me. I doubt very much there was miscommunication, only poor judgement.

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Wait, so they were discovered by an NGO that just happens to raise money for people like them. The men were then offered but declined accomodation at a hotel or cottage.

Must suck to live in close quarters for anyone, but especially for anyone with visible symptoms and difference.

This particular story, is too weird for me to take at face value.

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"featuring negative reactions by other evacuees"

Who cares if other people react negatively to others' suffering? Let them shame themselves! ( the other evacuees who react negatively )

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Let them shame themselves! ( the other evacuees who react negatively )

Um, I don't think it works that way. With the herd mentality here, people get bullied out. Disgraceful and sad, specially if you consider evacuees from Fukushima are getting bullied and harassed when they try to go other places and pick up the threads of their lives, because people are afraid of catching radioactivity off them. People who discriminate and harass can make other people's lives impossible, particularly bearing in mind how stressed out everyone in shelters is at the moment. Though I agree with you taj, the usual wierd story with bits missing that doesn't add up.

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