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• Angry and disgusted • 24/7 local heroes
Angry and disgusted
On the night of Aug. 21, 2008, my son, then age 22, was viciously assaulted by 2 juveniles.
One “false cracked” him in the head and while my son was trying to defend himself, wrestling with him, the other young punk kicked him in the head knocking my son unconscious. Then this vicious little thug continued to beat my son in the head.
As a result, my son suffered a massive brain injury. He was medevaced to Queen’s hospital’s head trauma unit on O‘ahu where it was discovered that he had also suffered a massive stroke as a direct result of the blows to the head. I was flying back from U.K. with my daughter, landing in San Francisco when I found out that he was in intensive care — not knowing if he was going to survive. Three days later I finally made it to the hospital only to find my son in a coma, hooked up to every kind of tube going into every part of his body to keep him alive and to stop the brain from swelling. No parent should have to go through this. My son also suffered a clot in his left arm and pneumonia, because of the induced coma.
His father stayed by his side — he’s never left his side yet — and I flew back and forth to O‘ahu from Kaua‘i for 14 weeks. My son came out of the coma and was admitted to Rehab Hospital of the Pacific where he learned how to walk, talk and eat again. However, the full ramifications of his assault became obvious just before he was released, which were (and still are) some long-term memory loss (about 2.5 years have been erased) and more serious short-term memory loss, and partial paralysis of his right-side arm down to his right foot.
My son had one year to go at a Marine Academy. He did not deserve to have his life cruelly changed and his dreams of a career, falling in love and having a family seem like an unattainable fantasy. Life experiences we take for granted, he may never have.
I’m writing this now after almost two years of silence because I’m angry and disgusted. I did not speak out before out of respect for my son, who didn’t want to be part of any “freak show.”
I’m angry at those two vicious young punks who did this. It’s not your right as “locals” to give some haole or whoever (my son is actually part Hawaiian) a “good lickin’.” There are cowardly, ignorant, vicious little punks like you everywhere, just so you know.
I’m angry at the parents of those two punks who raised them. Is this how you raise your kids? To be vicious criminals?
Also, you never admitted or took any responsibility for your sons’ actions — they were under 18 years old at the time. You denied that they were involved, saying that my son was drunk and hit his head. You never apologized to his father or me, and to this day have never tried to make any amends other than what the court ordered you to do, which was pay towards $21,000 restitution (when you can), which doesn’t even cover one month of a sorely needed out-patient rehab clinic.
I’m eternally grateful that you do not represent most Hawaiians, because my son’s father, my step-kids, my daughter, and my son’s wonderful aunts and uncles have shown me what love, integrity and aloha is really about, they have more grace in their little fingers than you all together have as a group.
I’m angry at the judge who after overwhelming evidence from eyewitness reports, police reports, hospital records and two full confessions would proceed to give them a slap on the wrist, take anger management classes and to pay the pathetic $21,000.
And by the way, there have been more cases of violence from these kids. Is it going to take another man or woman ending up in a coma or dead for you to wake up and see that these two should have been incarcerated? I hope the next victim’s parents sue you and the county for everything you have as a result of your poor judgement.
I’m angry at the Insurance company HMAA for dropping all benefits covering my son because he wasn’t a student anymore and fighting his father and I tooth and nail to not provide any coverage for any long-term rehab, both physical and mental which my son needs. There was a limited version of an out-patient center on O‘ahu but his father and me could not afford to stay there as our residences and work is on Kaua‘i.
HMAA have denied any responsibility other than finally agreeing to pay just one month at a rehab center in California, only when being threatened with a lawsuit. We have paid into your plan for over 20 years. This is how you treat long-term clients?
I’m angry at the absolute lack of counseling, rehab, grants for education and programs for brain injury victims in Hawai‘i. Did you know more people suffer form traumatic brain injuries than there are women suffering from breast cancer? Hawai‘i, other than the Queen’s head trauma unit, and Rehab Hospital of the Pacific has very little follow-up support for these people. I feel like my son has fallen in between the cracks. His father now does all his physical and mental treatments.
If Hawai‘i was represented by an animal or bird it would be the ostrich because in times of suffering and pain the ostrich buries his head in the sand and pretends nothing is wrong. I’m here to inform you there is.
The justice system is a joke, the health care system is ineffective, the media never seems to print what’s really going on, but I’m hoping the people of Hawai‘i can read this and speak up. If you are a victim of violence, or have loved ones that are, we’re not the ones that are wrong here! We need to speak up and shout out, so that maybe someone or some body of people can start to do something about this travesty of justice.
Julia Owens, Kilauea
24/7 local heroes
Each time the sirens of our fire trucks and the ambulance go on, let us all remember that these emergency responders are our local true heroes 24/7 and give them the mahalo nui loas that they deserve.
When you see them around, thank them profusely because they deserve so much aloha and love from us.
At this time I would lke to extend a huge mahalo nui loa to the Kapa‘a firefighters and the ambulance team who came to my rescue July 16. All of them were caring, reassuring and professional in all they did for me.
Leona Blankley, Princeville
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