Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Kalaupapa Woman Credits Father Damien For Recovery

When Hawaii’s first saint -- Father Damien -- is canonized this fall, he will be honored for his selfless service to Hansen’s disease patients in Kalaupapa. A survivor tells of how she left her family to recover and live on Molokai, and how Damien's example helped her cope. In Kalaupapa, the stories of Hansen’s disease survivors are intertwined with the legacy of Father Damien.

Ivy Kahilihiwa was just a Kauai teenager when something started happening to her body. "From here they found out I had one spot, like ringworm, and then it come to my face, the side of my face,” she explained. It wasn't ringworm. It was leprosy. ”When I went to see him, the doctor told me to stand by the door, do not come in. Stand by the door,” she said. Kahilihiwa was treated on Oahu, with years and countless courses of medication. "Then afterwards they say to me, if I want to come to Kalaupapa, I said I’d like to come to visit, to see what it's all about you know,” she said. That’s when she came to Molokai.

She remembers the kanaka air flight. "I'm looking out the cliff the ocean, it's just like my home place. It touched me just like my home place.” She recalls doctors and nurses asking if she was scared. She'd left her family. She faced a disease that had engendered quarantine and fear. She says she found her courage in Father Damien. "Damien and Marianne where they have suffered with people before, and it's hard for them, same thing, same thing with me too,” she said. "You have to stay, you know, pray to him and stay -- it's hard for me but I’m thankful, you know," she said. Thankful and at peace, even though she wouldn't see her family for years. It was something about Kalaupapa and Damien that helped her pull through.
Reported by: Gina Mangieri

No responsibility or liability shall attach itself to either myself or to the blogspot ‘Mozlink’ for any or all of the articles/images placed here. The placing of an article does not necessarily imply that I agree or accept the contents of the article as being necessarily factual in theology, dogma or otherwise.

No comments: