Laulima: Maui dialysis home fosters love, community and care


HONOLULU (KHON2) — Hale Pomaikai Hana Community Dialysis Home opened in 2009, after five years of trying to move mountains.

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“It was so hard to get to where we are today but we had to move mountains for medicare to approve us as the first of its kind in the nation,” said Lehua Cosma.

Lehua Cosma’s mother Cecelia Park and Francis Blue Lono, were the home’s first patients. No longer having to drive over 100 miles into town and back, three times a week, for dialysis.

“I saw the struggle between her and my dad traveling so far away,” she expained. “They left at like two o’clock in the morning and usually that’s when the heavy rains came, so my father had to always carry a chainsaw as they traveled the Hana road because there was always landslides and trees and I said ‘Oh no, this cannot be happening.  We have to do something.'”

And Blue Lono was key. While at a dialysis clinic in Wailuku, he talked to a medicare executive.

“So he told the big boss of medicare, ‘why don’t you drive to Hana, so you can see and feel what the patients go through on that drive,'” said Cosma. “He did, but he didn’t make it to Hana. He got sick and turned around and he said, ‘we gotta do something.'”

Sharing that sentiment, the state, county, community and Aunty Lehua founded the non-profit Hui Laulima O Hana to run the home.

“I’m proud to say, I’m just a volunteer. My reward is to see the patients home with their families, healthy and just living the quality life they deserve,” shared Cosma.

In the spirit of Laulima, our many hands working together, let’s help this dialysis home. Gas cards will help patients to get to the home or doctor appointments in town. Gas is $5.36 per gallon in Hana.

Another way to help is by providing comfort and warmth during their 4 to 5 hours at the facility. Soft blankets, socks and pillows are appreciated.

“They always need a blanket and a pillow, but would be nice to kind of have them upgrade on that, make them feel special in their own treatment room, where they didn’t have to bring their own anymore. They’d have their own personal blanket and pillow,” said Cosma.

“They’re not just numbers. They’re people who love and from 2009 (we’ve been) able to serve more than 10 patients who came and passed on.” shared Cosma.

Blue Lono passed five years ago, but he got to spend more time here at home in Hana because of the Hana Community Dialysis Home.

And Aunty Lehua’s mother Cece got to use the home for 7 months before passing after a fall.

“Before she died, she always told me ‘don’t give up, there’s more that’s gonna need it.’ And she’s right. She was right,” said Cosma.

Correction: An earlier version of this story had the incorrect island of the dialysis center. The dialysis center is on Maui. The headline has been corrected.

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