Eni doing well, but asks for no visitors right now please
While Congressman Faleomavaega Eni is recovering at Tripler Army Medical Center in Honolulu, he is not accepting visitors at this time, according to a statement by his District Office. The statement reiterated that the Congressman’s medical situation is “not life-threatening”.
The Congressman was medivaced last Thursday afternoon to Honolulu for medical assessment and treatment. He had been admitted to LBJ Medical Center last Monday evening, October 21 after arriving on the flight from Honolulu (this according to his chief of staff, Faiivae, who corrected Samoa News' earlier report that he had checked into LBJ on Tuesday.)
The reason for the hospitalization remains unclear. His office, as well as LBJ Medical Center, have declined to give details.
In a statement yesterday morning Faleomavaega’s chief of staff of the District Office in Pago Pago, Faiivae Alex Godinet announced that the Congressman’s family and staff wish to express their deepest thanks and gratitude for all those involved in making the Congressman’s medical evacuation possible.
“Faleomavaega is recovering at Tripler and his family is by his side. Faleomavaega is not in a life-threatening situation and he is stable. When Faleomavaega tells us he is ready for visitors, we will issue another release,” said Faiivae.
“Until then, we once more express our heartfelt thanks for the heroic actions of everyone involved in Faleomavaega’s evacuation and recovery, and we thank you for your continued prayers,” he said.
Faiivae also provided additional details of work which occurred behind the scenes between the Congressman’s office, LBJ, and the federal government in getting Faleomavaega medivaced from the territory.
According to the statement, a conference call was held last Wednesday between the Office of Attending Physicians at the U.S. House and LBJ’s Dr. Jerome Amoa, who during the call reported that LBJ “did not have the necessary equipment to provide further evaluation of the Congressman, and he said that he had requested medivac services through the local government.”
According to Faiivae, it was during the conference call, “our office was informed that the Congressman was stable for travel and was not in a life-threatening situation,” and their office made a decision “for and on behalf of the Congressman, his family, and the people of American Samoa to GO FOR BROKE” — that is “spare no effort in doing whatever was necessary to make sure that the Congressman was evacuated as quickly as possible.”
“This is why we immediately informed Dr. Amoa during our phone call with him that our office would take charge of the medivac request and, in so doing, we asked Dr. Amoa to provide our office with a letter stating that the Congressman needed medivac services. Our office also asked the House Physician for a letter stating the same,” he explained.
The Congressman’s Office registered its medivac services request through Ronald Han of the Veterans Affairs Office in Honolulu and forwarded him the House Physician's letter as well as Dr. Amoa’s letter “which included more extensive information,” the statement says.
Within 30 minutes of the request, Maj. Gen. Darryll Wong — the Adjutant General for the State of Hawaii who oversees the Hawaii Air National Guard and who provides direct support to the Office of Veterans Affairs — put a crew into crew rest to prepare for the medivac flight.
“While we understand that the normal procedure for a veteran to be airlifted from American Samoa to Honolulu requires the local Veterans Affairs to register a request, Faleomavaega is both a veteran and a U.S. Congressman,” said Faiivae.
“Being the federal entity responsible for the Congressman, we exercised our right to bypass the local VA and act in the most expeditious manner,” he said.
After securing medivac services, Faleomavaega’s staff began the process of linking the Office of the Attending Physician to the aero-medical evacuation team as well as Tripler physicians so that the Congressman could be treated in the air and upon arrival in Hawai’i without delay, he said.
Around 10a.m. last Thursday while the medivac flight was already en route, “we learned in a conference call between Dr. Amoa, the House physician and Faleomavaega’s staff that Faleomavaega’s condition had worsened and that the situation was now critical,” he explained. “We therefore made further decisions. As the only federal entity authorized to act on the Congressman’s behalf, one decision we made was to request that no one, except immediate family, be allowed to board the medivac flight.”
As a courtesy to local veterans, the Congressman’s staff informed the Hawai’i Air National Guard that it supports Space A rules, which allows for qualified veterans to board a military flight if they have valid reasons to go to Honolulu, he said, adding that a desire to accompany the Congressman does not meet the requirements of Space A rules.
“And so, while we appreciate the concern of those who wanted to board the medivac flight, had they consulted our office or the family we would have respectfully informed them that the medivac aircraft is not a passenger plane like Hawaiian Air. It was to be used as a flying intensive care unit,” he said.
“It is regrettable that the aero-medical evacuation team is now being criticized for a decision made by Faleomavaega’s staff. As the federal entity responsible for the Congressman, we stand by our decision to secure an on-board environment free of needless distractions so that all efforts could be completely focused on the Congressman’s evacuation and recovery,” he said.
On behalf of the Congressman, his family, and staff, the statement thanked the Pacific Air Force’s 613th Air Operations Center/Air Mobility Division and all its components and especially its Aero-medical Evacuation Team, Theatre Patient Movement Requirements Center, and Joint Patient Liaison Office, and the Hawaii Air National Guard maintenance and flight crew for their professionalism and expertise.
“This heroic team worked tirelessly to rescue the Congressman and they went for broke in carrying out their mission,” said Faiivae. “From the planning, execution, coordination down to the aircrew and maintenance personnel and everyone involved, they delivered our Congressman to Tripler in better condition than when they picked him up from LBJ.”
The Congressman, along with his family and staff also personally thanked many individuals by name — those in Hawai’i and locally, including Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga.
Click on attachment to download Faiivae’s statement released by the Congressman’s Office.
|Congressman Eni update.10.28.13.pdf||98.8 KB|
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