HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Kapiolani Medical Center Dr. Thomas Kosasa has practiced obstetrics and gynecology for about 50 years.
Helping mothers through childbirth is what he was born to do.
"I love to deliver babies. That's a wonderful thing because it's bringing a new life into the world. It's very special," he said.
That special moment has happened many times.
"It's over 10,000," Kosasa said.
As of Wednesday, the exact number was 10,048, since his first baby delivery on the mainland in 1967.
He keeps track of the births he’s handled and posts the number in his office.
Expectant mother Brianne Randle is one of his patients.
He delivered her son four years ago and will deliver the daughter she's carrying.
“I know how important he’s been to us," she said. after a recent checkup. “To think 10,000 families he’s changed is just amazing,”
Amazing can also describe Kosasa’s professional and personal journeys.
As a medical student on the mainland, he drove dragsters and won auto races.
"My first car was actually a racing Corvette and we called it Hawaiian Punch. It won every race in the Northeast sector," he said.
When he came to Hawaii to practice medicine he brought along his pilot's license and pioneered a medical transport service that flew pregnant women from the neighbor islands to Oahu.
“I would sign the patient off of labor and delivery and say, ‘I’m responsible,’ even though I was the pilot and the nurses were in the back,” he said.
Of all the births he's had a hand in one stands out. Kosasa delivered Hawaii's first test tube baby, Jacqueline Low.
That was in 1985.
“The first test tube baby was 1978 so we were not that far behind,” he said.
Kosasa is a giant in the state’s obstetrics field, and he’s giving with his expertise. He eagerly shares his knowledge with medical students.
"Every delivery I have a student with me," he said. "That's important because I want to carry on what I know to teach the younger generation."
Kosasa, 73, hopes to work into his 80s and add to the number of special deliveries that no other Hawaii doctor will ever surpass.