Update: Manu'a siblings on life saving journey, now in California
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A little sister is on a journey to help save her older brother's life. Fala Letini Mauga 22 yrs old has been diagnosed with leukemia and younger sister, 18 yrs old Fa'avela Mauga is donating some of her bone marrow for a transplant.
Fa'avela is a perfect bone marrow match for her brother.
The young siblings, both alums of Manu'a High School, are from Siufaga, Ta'u. Just a few years ago Fala Letini was happy and fishing and swimming and living carefree; until he became very sick and sought treatment in Honolulu
With American Samoa’s borders closed with flights restricted, Dr. Gary Okamoto, the chief medical officer at AlohaCare has been working to figure out a way to bring Vela to Hawaii from American Samoa and reunite her with her brother.
“The situation is dire because without the transplantation, his risk of having a serious medical complication rises rapidly,” Okamoto said.
Plans to organize flights through private cargo companies, the Air National Guard and Coast Guard all fell through. But with the help of the Hawaii Lt. Governor’s Office and the American Samoan government, Vala was able to snag a seat on a FEMA transport flight this past Friday afternoon. The American Samoan government office in Hawaii also assisted in the effort.
The Manu’atele Community Worldwide Facebook page sent out a thank you to everyone behind the scenes who made this possible for the Mauga siblings and family. “Manu'atele Community Worldwide continues to lift them up in prayer.”
After being reunited, the siblings will fly to California, where the procedure is set for Monday (today) at Stanford Medical Center.