Losivale and Leo’o Atonio from Mutiatele Aleipata are grateful parents.
They have the Samoa Observer’s Save the Child’s Fund and Good Samaritans from the community to thank for helping their son travel to New Zealand to receive medical treatment, which could possibly save his life.
Taulave Atonio has been bedridden for over a year because of a heart disease.
“He had been admitted to the hospital for more than three times this year,” Losivale told the Samoa Observer.
“His doctor told us that the best thing for him is to take him to New Zealand for treatment. We were worried when we received the notice from the doctor because we knew it will cost a lot of money.
“However, we were told that all we need to do is to look for money for airfares and visas.”
Losivale said they approached Dr. Satupa’itea Viali for help. He told them that he would try his best to find help. It wasn’t until last Friday that they received a call from Dr. Viali saying that someone was willing to help them.
“I thanked the Lord for answering our prayers,” said Losivale, adding that the call gave them hope.
The Save the Child’s Fund was started by the Samoa Observer with generous donations from members of the community to help needy families send their children overseas for medical treatment. Among the contributors to the Fund, which made Taulave’s trip possible, are Aukuso and Margean Fe’esago, Nigel and Tilo Fepulea’i.
Taulave left the country yesterday for New Zealand. He is accompanied by his older sister, Imeleta Tualima. He will be in New Zealand for three months.
Taulave stopped going to school in 2012 when he started to get ill. He wanted to become a carpenter but his dream was quashed when he became really sick and dropped out of school.
But he is still hoping to achieve his dream after his operation.
“I still want to do things like the other children,” said Taulave. “Even though I stopped going to school, I never stopped going to church, Sunday school and playing with my friends.
“And I am grateful to the Good Samaritan who offered to pay for my fare. I know it’s a lot of money and I cannot repay them back. But I want to say to them that I am happy and grateful for giving me hope.”
Taulave’s mother also wanted to extend her gratitude to the Editor-in-Chief of the Samoa Observer, Gatoaitele Savea Sano and Publisher, Muliagatele Jean Malifa for their generosity.
“I know words are not enough to repay your generosity but only God can restore all that have been used to help those in need,” she said. “This means so much to me and my whole family. So thank you for giving us hope.”
Taulave is the 11th child out of Losivale and Leoo’s 13 children. He is 21 years old and was attending Aleipata College.