Guam veteran says son denied medevac to Hawaii for needed surgery


A father in Guam is pleading for help to get his 10-year-old son to a hospital in Hawaii.

He says because of new rules his son will not get here until Friday and he’s afraid that might be too late.

Walter Duenas says his son has been airlifted here twice before with no problems. This time, he says his son’s condition is worse than ever and he can’t understand why he’s being forced to wait.

Duenas says his son, Robert, has a condition that forces his stomach to get bloated, which requires surgery.

In the past, he and his son were airlifted to Hawaii for treatment. He is a retired Army veteran, so the arrangements are done through the military.

He says there’s been a change in procedures, so now he and his son have to fly to Okinawa first and wait there until Friday before flying to Hawaii.

“Because they changed the rules now that you’re retired, they can’t medevac your son?” KHON2 asked.

“Apparently, that’s what they’re saying,” Duenas said. “They can’t medevac him as a critical evac patient to anywhere now. We have to go to Okinawa and stay there for four more days before we can fly to Hawaii. At what point, and how large, are we going to continue to let his belly grow without having to do surgery or transporting him to the specialist in Hawaii that knows what to do and knows how to care for Robert before it’s too late?”

Right now, his son is at a hospital in Guam.

Duenas told us Tuesday his son was undergoing surgery there, though it’s not clear if he will need more medical attention.

He says the operation might help relieve some of the pain that Robert is feeling, but he probably still needs a specialist in Hawaii.

“In the past, you guys had no problem. Orders were cut, my son and I flew directly to Hawaii, landed in Hawaii, ambulance picked us up, went to Tripler Army Medical Center, Kapiolani doctors met us at the emergency room, three hours later, we’re in surgery,” said Duenas.

Guam’s representative is working with the family.

Duenas also tells us an anonymous donor has also offered to pay for the expenses to fly Robert here.

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