Leahi Hospital celebrates a special long-term care relationship

By: Denise Yuki

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - They say love can be found in the most unexpected places, often times when you least expect it. For Leahi Hospital long-term care residents Miles Takiguchi and Christine Aloalo, no other euphemism could have been more spot-on. The two were wed at the hospital Friday morning, as employees, peers, and family members fondly looked on.

Takiguchi was born in 1955 and served in the U.S. Army before pursuing several successful business ventures, and fathering a son and daughter. At the age of 51, he suffered a stroke which left him partially paralyzed. He was admitted to Leahi Hospital in 2006.

He recalls noticing Aloalo sitting by herself in the dining room and working on her puzzle books, something he enjoyed doing in his spare time as well. Soon after going over to introduce himself, he learned that they shared a lot more in common besides a love for puzzle books.

After the ceremony, Takiguchi reached across both their wheelchairs to hold his new bride's hand. "She completes me. All of my shortcomings, she fills it," he said.

Aloalo, born in 1949 and raised in Nanakuli, suffered from three separate strokes before being admitted to Leahi Hospital in 2008. She remembers Miles as always being cheerful and pleasant to talk to, which kept her mind occupied and helped her to adjust. It was without a second thought that she said 'yes' when Miles asked her to spend the rest of her life with him in 2011.

"I don't expect this, and I never did," said Aloalo. "I'm very grateful for him. I call him my lucky charm because he makes me feel lucky. I'll always stay by him."

"They used to be a little shy around each other but as they got to know each other more, they spent a lot more time together and always wanted to be together, " said Leahi Nurse manager, Lyn Milligan.

"I was shocked because you don't expect this kind of stuff to happen, not at this age," said Aloalo's son, Matea Aloalo.

It started off as an amicable companionship and turned into something extraordinary. Considering the circumstances, those who watched as the couple's relationship blossomed  were touched by the underlying simplicity of it all.

"Seeing that makes me think anything in love is possible, and it's a wonderful thing to see," said Milligan.