Recently I accompanied Congresswoman Mazie Hirono while visiting the new cardiac wing of Maui Memorial Medical Center. She was given a demonstration by cardiologist Dr. Colin Lee and cardiac wing administrator Caroline Koley, to show how federal funding for the new facilities had built a state-of-the-art center for heart attack victims.
Formerly, heart patients would be
flown to Honolulu for emergency treatment and procedures. Often the one- to two-hour delay would be too long for the golden hour of intervention and treatment, resulting in permanent heart damage despite every attempt by emergency personnel and doctors to correct the arterial blockage. Now, with the new Maui Memorial facilities, procedures such as the placement of a stent in the blocked artery are immediately available within the critical golden hour.
Recently I have had two occasions to meet fortunate souls who benefited from the miracle stent procedure. One man I met while surfing, one day after his hospital release. Another, a close friend of mine in excellent health, likewise suffered an attack and his life was improved because he received treatment within that golden hour, saving his large family a tremendous amount of grief.
Anyone who complains about government, federal spending or public hospitals should pay attention to what Hirono and Sens. Daniel Inouye and Daniel Akaka have done for Maui. There is no room for cynicism when facing that golden hour.