National News

Family of toddler recovering from rat lungworm disease encounters obstacle in recovery process

Posted January 17, 2018 3:56 p.m. EST

— Pictures from Santini Tauanuu show her 16-month-old son, Kane is smiling again, she is concerned about his progress as he recovers from Rat Lungworm Disease.

"Right now, he is crawling," said Tauanuu, "but he still doesn't like to put pressure on his foot, so he doesn't stand up for a long period of time."

Ron Brandvold, President and CEO of Easter Seals Hawaii told Island News Kane's physical therapist in Hilo quit suddenly on January 2, 2018.

"Easter Seals is the only provider we have here that deals with pediatrics," said Tauanuu.

Brandvold said Easter Seals Hawaii is trying to hire a new physical therapist as soon as possible, but Tauanuu is having trouble finding another care provider for her son while the search continues.

"I've been trying to look for other physical therapists that do pediatrics, and a lot of them don't take young children, especially his age," said Tauanuu.

Brandvold said finding care on the neighbor islands can be challenging, which is why Easters Seals Hawaii is trying to get authorization from the state's early intervention section to send physical therapists from Oahu to the Big Island.

"Right now, we just do therapy at home on his terms," said Tauanuu, "I work with him as much as I can"

Tauanuu is trying her best, but the recovery process is slowing down, and her son needs help.

"I don't know what to do or where to turn to anymore," said Tauanuu.

Tauanuu said aside from physical therapy, her son needs speech therapy. She said the only words he can say are "Mama" and "Dada."

Tauanuu said her son's Med Quest coverage was also recently cut off, and she is working on resolving that issue. His next medical appointment at Kapiolani Medical Center is scheduled for March.