Local child with serious heart condition needs medivac
“Unfortunately, LBJ does not get involved with medivac arrangements because of financial reasons,” was the explanation given by hospital Chief Executive Officer, Taufete’e Faumuina in response to Samoa News queries with regard to the case of an eight-year-old boy who has been in the Intensive Care Unit for three weeks, fighting for his life as he suffers from heart problems, and cannot be taken on the Hawaiian Airlines.
The LBJ hospital and the parents of Klement “Meke” Pua’auli are not giving up hope on getting a medivac to transport him off island for medical treatment. JoAnn Pua’auli told Samoa News her son cannot travel on Hawaiian Airlines due to regulations by the Federal Aviation Administration and she has reached out to Congresswoman Aumua Amata for assistance.
Taufete’e told Samoa News that he’s met with JoAnn and Peua Pua’auli regarding the medivac issue.
“I had a phone call with Dr. Marrone (Chief of Pediatric Services) while the parents were waiting in my office to bring me up to speed on the medivac situation. Dr. Marrone has been in contact with Mr. Casey Brinck of Congresswoman Amata’s office in DC about the medivac transportation.” He further stated that the parents had already sought assistance from the Congresswoman’s office as this is the only way to get this patient off-island because HA cannot do it.
According to Dr. Marrone, Mr. Brinck informed him that in order for the medivac to come, they needed to be assured that there is a receiving hospital on the other end, with the ambulance and EMS team ready to transport the patient directly to the receiving hospital.
He further explained that Dr. Marrone had been contacting the Kapiolani Hospital in Honolulu as “that is the hospital which we normally contact for our pediatric patients”, and Dr. Marrone also had contacted a hospital in San Diego (where Kapiolani referred some of its pediatric patients), however “both declined our request” for their own reasons.
“At the moment, I have instructed Dr. Marrone not to give up, but to continue the search.”
Samoa News inquired if the case of Meke falls under the Off Island Referral program and Taufete’s replied “our present off-island referral program only deals with cases that are approved by the off-island medical referral committee for round trip tickets — only to and from Honolulu. This case falls under the referral program except that HA cannot approve it, based on its own policies.”
At present, LBJ continues to stabilize Meke until it hears from an accepting hospital off-island. Meke is the third oldest of six children from Alao who attends Marist St. Francis School. His parents have created a “GoFundMe” account, seeking financial assistance to help their son.
According to the mother, in times like these they will go to desperate measures for the ones they love, and they created an account with great hope that they can raise enough funds to pay for Meke to fly to Hawai’i for medical treatment. She said her eight-year-old was a healthy and vibrant young boy when things turned for the worse three weeks ago.
Since then Meke has been in the ICU at the hospital, fighting to stay alive.
JoAnn said that according to doctors at LBJ, he has a condition known as Supraventricular Tachycardia (SVT) — where his heartbeat will, from time to time, speed up at an abnormal rate.
While the normal heart rate is 60 to 100 beats a minute, Meke’s heart rate has reached 200 beats a minute sporadically over the last few weeks. He has been at Code Blue at least five times since being admitted and “we fear his little body may not be strong enough to survive future resuscitation efforts,” said his mother.
“Since we do not have a Cardiologist on island, it is with humble hearts that we seek your donation/help in order for Meke to see a cardiologist in Hawai’i. Since he hasn't been stable enough to fly on Hawaiian Air, our only other options are a military medivac or an air ambulance.
“We are pressed for time as his condition seems be to be worsening every day. Our best option now is the air ambulance, but the cost is a stifling $134,000. We are hoping to raise money to put towards costs to send him to Hawai’i and pay for medical costs. If you cannot donate, we appreciate prayers for him as well.”
“Thank you for taking the time to read this and we will update this page as his condition changes, hopefully for the better.”
As of yesterday afternoon, the couple has raised $2,050.
You can help Meke by going on this website http://www.gofundme.com/helpMeke?fb_ref=Default.
The San Diego-based site, GoFundMe has helped a lot of people, since it was launched on May 10, 2010, and has quickly become the World’s #1 fundraising site for personal causes and life-events. Hundreds of thousands of people have raised over $1.25 Billion from 13 million donors.