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Kamuela Family Fundraising to Fly Ill Father Home to Big Island

June 9, 2020, 5:45 PM HST
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Charlotte and Henry Soares.

Henry Soares traveled to Las Vegas in 2018 to visit his grandson for a two-week visit. Two years later, he remains unable to return to his home and family on Hawai‘i Island.

Soares, 76, suffers from several ailments including deep vein thrombosis, chronic edema, congestive heart failure and a litany of other conditions that require him, among other things, to use oxygen around the clock.

His health problems kept him confined to the mainland and its hospitals for months and now, due to fears surrounding COVID-19 and oxygen requirements that render commercial air travel difficult, Soares’s daughter Monica says the only way to bring her father home to the Big Island is by way of a private flight via a medical company.

“He just needs to get home,” Monica said. “He spends so many nights awake … dreaming of being in his own home. He doesn’t want to die in Las Vegas, and he knows his clock is ticking.”

The Soares family has located a medical flight company, Angel MedFlight Worldwide Air Ambulance Services, which works with patients unable to fly home by traditional means. However, Monica said because her parents are on Medicare, they don’t have the coverage necessary to pay for such a service.

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And so, the family has turned to GoFundMe to try and raise the money necessary to get Henry home to his family in Kamuela. Monica said they estimate the overall cost will be around $65,000. Thus far, the Soares GoFundMe page has raised a little more than $12,000.

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“We are overwhelmed and so entirely grateful for the people who have donated,” Monica said. “I don’t know how my dad is still fighting and how he’s still alive, but this man is a fighter and he wants to get home.”

Those who wish to donate can find more information in the GoFundMe link above.

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