Medical Equipment Going to Samoa Thanks to Shriners

Gavin Semalo
Gavin Semalo
Glenn Wakai
Glenn Wakai

(KHNL) - Gavin Semalo can now walk easily but it wasn't always that way for this eleven-year-old.

"When I was at home I was very scared, but in here i'm not scared because there's too many doctors who are going to help me," Semalo said.

Foot problems forced him to leave American Samoa to seek treatment at Shriners Hospital in Honolulu, care he couldn't receive at home.

"Gives me better surgery, it helps me a lot," Semalo said.

Now a donation of wheelchairs, walkers and other orthopedic supplies from Shriners could help other children like Gavin.

"What we're doing today is taking a lot of surplus goods from Shriners Hospital and using them to better the lives of children in american samoa," said donation organizer Glenn Wakai.

Shriners plans to rebuild its hospital next year, so it was looking to dispose of some excess equipment instead of putting it all into storage. The REPAC foundation arranged to donate the items to non-profit medical supply agencies in American Samoa.

"Because of the distance children come here for some kind of orthopedic care but when they go back to American Samoa it's not always easy to get some of the items," Wakai said.

Each box of supplies could help a child who's outgrown their own braces and crutches.

"What they need hopefully we can help fulfill with some of our surplus goods," Wakai said.