Public step forward to assist Lauli'i family

Members of the public have stepped forward to assist and make donations to the Tuivale family in Lauli’i who lost three children to suspected measles in the space of two weeks.

Businessman Tupa’i Bruno Loyale and the families of Junior Niupulusu and Andrew Craig have donated cash and food to the grieving family, who are still trying to come to terms with their loss after a fortnight of horror.

Tupa’i – who had an employee who also lost a child to measles – made a personal donation of $1000 tala to the Lauli’i family and got staff to present the cash on his behalf. 

“I would love to bring it to them myself but I'm that kind of person. I cannot handle facing (the family), especially children dying,” he said.

In an appeal to Samoans, the Fia Fia Park owner said families should take their children to the hospital to get vaccinated and not rely on traditional healers. 

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Junior Niupulusu, who is also from Lauli’i and owns a car rental company, also gave the family monetary assistance. 

“Ever since I heard about the first two children, I had planned to come and help the family but when I heard about the third one, we tried our best to come as early and give our love and support for the poor family,” he said. “You know, every family, especially parents would feel the same way if we were to lose a child and for this family, losing instead of one but three children is just heartbreaking.”

Mr Craig said he was following the story on Samoa Observer and made time to visit the family on Tuesday before he flew to New Zealand. 

He said the death of the Lauli’i family’s three children shook him, especially given the family’s background and the loss of three loved ones in such a short time. 

“We can’t help everyone but we are happy that we chose to help this one (family), because obviously, their welfare is very low, very poor family and then with the third loss of the child, I don’t know how I would bear with one loss of a child,” he said. “So we visited yesterday, I went home and I slept with my kids, three young ones and I held them tight, woke up this morning and said a prayer to thank heavenly father for not taking for granted my children.”

Indicating in an interview with this newspaper that his family is happy to assist the family again, Mr Craig said this could include work to decorate the three children’s graves.

“We are happy that we are able to touch someone’s life in some way or the other and I told Paulo that we’re always here for whatever help we can offer when they need so, like decorating their graves.”

The father of the three deceased children, Tuivale Puelua Luamanuvae, told this newspaper in an earlier interview that he believes his children got infected with measles when they joined him and their mother at their stall at the Savalalo market.

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