Former Aloha Employee With Kidney Disease Gets Insurance

Rod Nakabayashi
Rod Nakabayashi

HONOLULU (KHNL) -- There's good news about a former Aloha Airlines employee who lost his healthcare benefits, and is in need of a kidney transplant. Rod Nakabayashi just learned he'll be covered under Cobra.

After a period of uncertainty, Rod Nakabayashi's desperate search for health insurance is over.

"I can go on with my medical plans of trying to have a transplant," he said.

The 49-year-old was an Aloha Airlines flight attendant for 21 years, until the carrier's abrupt shutdown two weeks ago. The loss of his job came after doctors told him he needs a new kidney and pancreas.

"It just kind of brightened our day that we were covered and, you know, we don't have to pay as much as we thought we would," he said.

After our first story aired, Nakabayashi says he was flooded with calls from people offering support. Most of his former co-workers didn't know about his battle with kidney disease.

"All the people at Aloha Airlines, you know, it's like a family," Nakabayashi said. "They all supported me and they were willing to bring me to dialysis."

He says he was floored when four people came forward to have their blood tested to see if they could donate a kidney to him. One didn't work out, but the others are still pending.

"It just shows how the people of Hawaii are, you know, one big ohana," he said. "They really just care for each other."