Waipahu woman hopes for end to court case

Siuila Mamea
Siuila Mamea
Felise Mamea, and daughter
Felise Mamea, and daughter

By Jim Mendoza - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Relaxing on a park bench, the joy of parenting is written on the faces of Siuila Mamea, her husband and nine-month old daughter.

But written into a 73-page court document is another story -- a tale of pain and suffering.

"I went in there because I really wanted to get better and then go back home," Mamea said.

Siuila's talking about Tripler Army Medical Center. Court accounts said the treatment she received there in 1997 and 1998 for kidney stones was sub-standard.

"They really never analyzed it and never figured out why she was producing these stones," attorney Judith Ann Pavey said.

Pavey said Tripler failed to set up a program for Siuila to monitor her condition. It was a critical error.

"They took a blood test from me," Siuila said. "That same day they called me that both of my kidneys shut down."

Now three days a week she undergoes dialysis.  The cycle has put a strain on her and her family.

"I wish I could take out some pain from her so she can relieve some stress but I cannot," her husband Felise said.

Last month U.S. District Court judge Leslie E. Kobayashi sided with Siuila in her lawsuit, saying Tripler "failed to properly diagnose and treat" her condition and caused "permanent injuries" and "kidney failure."

She was awarded $7.5 million.

But now she's concerned that the U.S. Justice Department will appeal the decision and put her through another painful court case.

"I think it would be cruel if they appealed it because I don't think they have a chance of winning," Pavey said.

In a statement to Hawaii News Now Tripler said it did "provide the best and most compassionate care possible to plaintiff Siuila Mamea" and the "decision to appeal is not a decision made by TAMC, but will be made by the Solicitor General of the United States and the U.S. Department of Justice in consultation with the Department of the Army and U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Hawaii."

"I think about my daughter all the time. It's very hard for me," Mamea said.

She hopes to one day get on the list for a kidney transplant so she can live her life again and watch her daughter grow without worry.

But like the prospects of possibly going back to court, it's wait and see.

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