by: Stephen Florino
NORTH SHORE (KHNL) - A glimmer of hope for North Shore residents that their hospital will be saved. State lawmakers and hospital officials are looking at ways to keep Kahuku hospital open, despite original plans to close it at the end of the year.
6-year old Cole Towers and his little sister Tori enjoy a day at the skatepark under the watchful eyes of their parents.
"That makes it more comfortable to be here, to know that the hospital is right there in case something were to happen," said Will Towers.
"Yeah, it's scary," said Summer Towers. "Cracks his head open, how long does it take to get to Kailua?"
State lawmakers and hospital officials are trying to put those fears to rest, by coming up with any way to keep the hospital open.
One plan is to bring Kahuku hospital into the Hawaii Health System, a group of ten hospitals across the islands, subsidized by the state. That would help pull the hospital from bankruptcy, but it still needs to meet certain stipulations involving financial commitments and hospital operations.
Residents say there is no alternative.
"Especially with today, with the surf contests going on, you can't get through," said Will Towers.
"There's so much activity as far as surfing on the North Shore, and there's some pretty extreme sports," said Summer Towers.
Extreme sports which can be dangerous.
"We always go to Kahuku to get stitches," said surfer Sam Custin. "Wahiawa's too far."
It doesn't matter if you're surfing the big waves, or the concrete -- you never know when you'll need a hospital.