East Hawaii News

Hilo Girl Recognized as ‘Hero’ Following Rare Condition

November 14, 2014, 9:24 AM HST
* Updated November 14, 9:31 AM
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A Friday feel-good story comes out of Honolulu, where an eight-year-old Hilo girl, Dara Nagata, has been honored as a 2014 Hero of the Month by the Kapi’olani Medical Center for Women & Children and children’s charity Kids Wish Network.

Dara was nominated for the award due to her bravery and determination during a two-month stay at the Kapi’olani facility. She was admitted with acute encephalitis, a rare condition that caused inflammation of her brain. Although she was kept sedated for several weeks, she miraculously managed to make a recovery, according to a Kids Wish Network release.

The Kids Wish Network’s Hero of the Month program gives recognition to children between the ages of three and 18 who have faced and overcome difficult circumstances, often times enduring a great deal of pain and suffering. These heroes have dealt with a life-altering situation and have demonstrated extreme bravery and courage.

During Dara’s nearly two month stay at the hospital, she learned to cope with the changes in her body as a result of her condition. Progress, which was slow at first, was made. According to the Kids Wish Network, she relearned how to walk, eat, and write her name on her own again, undergoing rigorous physical, speech, occupational, and cognitive therapy daily.

“Dara remained positive, outgoing and playful, and never expressed any frustration as she rehabilitated herself,” recalls nominating Child Life Specialist Megan Lee. “Her progress was what some would call a miracle, and her outlook on the entire situation more than qualifies as heroic. Dara has been an inspiration to us all.”


The Kids Wish Network works with Kapi’olani Medical Center for Women & Children and hundreds of other facilities across the United States to honor brave kids. Five heroes may be nominated per month by each facility, and each of those Heroes are recognized with a Kids Wish Network certificate t-shirt and gift card.


Over 700 heroes through this program have been honored nationwide since 2012.

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