Little Peme doing well, released from hospital, enrolled in school

fili@samoanews.com

The now eight-year old Pemerika Sameli Tauiliili, who was flown to Honolulu and later underwent a six-hour surgery, has been released from Kapiolani Women’s and Children’s Hospital, and is doing well and attending an elementary school in Honolulu, his father Ionatana Tauiliili said.

Little Peme suffered a ruptured vein in his brain and was medevac’d to Honolulu, accompanied by his mother Falaga, on an emergency medical flight on July 30. His father and three other siblings flew up to Honolulu on Hawaiian Airlines and made it in time for little Peme’s extensive six-hour surgery.

“All I could think of is my son, and you can’t do anything to change the course of anything at that point,” Ionatana Tauiliili said in a Samoa News interview last Friday, when asked what went through his mind as he, his wife and family members waited for the outcome of the surgery.

“We mostly depended on God, [and] prayers of the community — which was overwhelming,” he said, stopping briefly before continuing, “It’s a wait that I don’t think any parent would want to go through.”

Tauiliili called the Kapiolani hospital “great” and a “tremendous” medical center, whose medical team is both “fantastic and amazing... in taking care of Peme” before and after the surgery, it was “magnificent.”

“When my son was in ICU, it was a 24-hour watch by nurses and a team of doctors. We were well informed of everything they were doing to Peme and the things they were about to do to him,” he said. “Even my son’s progress, while he was in ICU before and after surgery.”

Little Peme was released from the hospital on Sept. 3 and four days later on Sept. 7, he celebrated his 8th birthday.

“Right now little Peme is doing well and doing outpatient — physical and occupational therapy — as well as follow up appointments with a team of doctors,” said Tauiliili, who added the neurosurgeon, who led the surgery on his son, will do a follow-up check in December.

And little Peme, who had attended Kanana Fou Elementary School, is currently in 3rd grade enrolled at King William C. Lunalilo Elementary School in Honolulu.

“At first my son was kind of hesitant in going to school in a new environment. He is an outgoing person, but he needs to be familiar with the environment and he will come out to it as himself thereafter,” Tauiliili said of his son, adding he spoke with his son using words of encouragements to attend school.

“It was important that he attends school. We were informed by the therapist that my son needs to go to school to have that part of his brain that was affected, to start working [again] and it’s an early stage of recovery,” he said.

Even before little Peme was released from the hospital, there was some schoolwork therapy sessions at the hospital. “My son kind of remembered bits and pieces at first and then it was a speedy recovery of his memory after that,” the father said of the therapy sessions and noted thereafter the doctors gave the okay for little Peme to attend school.

Tauiliili explained the school had to prepare for little Peme’s condition, in case of any emergency or something happens to him and the school has an emergency plan with teachers and assistants being prepped in what is needed if something happens.

“Right now my son is taking medication for his anti-seizure,” he said, and that a hospital physician had spoken with the school and preps them on how to spot symptoms of seizure and what to do, when it happens.

“So the school is well prepared, in case something happens to Peme and they can respond quickly and properly,” Tauiliili said. “It’s a great school and they are all so wiling to help my son. Thank you.”

Tauiliili and his wife, along with the family again extend sincere appreciation and thanks to everyone for their help, support and prayers for little Peme.

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