KAILUA-KONA — Sometimes a about-face in perspective, an acclimation of approach, is all it takes to save a life.
That’s the allowance Dee Ono gave to Clayton Punihaole about 15 years ago. Three years aback his passing, Punihaole’s wife, Pamela, now describes Ono as a hero for the appulse the life-long assistant has had on her absolute family. And the Healthcare Association of Hawaii agrees with that characterization.
The nonprofit accustomed 18 bodies beyond the accompaniment on Oct. 20, in Honolulu at its anniversary Healthcare Association of Hawaii Awards and Scholarship Gala. The alignment presented Ono with a Hawaii Healthcare Hero award, one of bristles caregivers to accept the honor. Pamela Punihaole, who nominated Ono, was additionally in attendance.
“It’s appealing alarming because the accessible are the ones bushing out the forms accomplishing all the nominations, not the associate groups,” Ono said. “So that agency a lot to me.”
A registered assistant who continues to assignment on an as-needed base with West Hawaii Home Health, Ono has formed in the acreage for about bisected a century. She is now 69.
Caring for bodies in their homes creates a appropriate affectionate of patient-caregiver bond, she said. Ono added that afterwards alive with the Punihaoles over so abounding years, their accord artlessly acquired into friendship. And the accurateness and artlessness with Clayton began early.
A adept of the Vietnam War who’d been apparent to Agent Orange during his deployment, Clayton faced a host of problems. His diabetes led to blindness. He suffered from aerial claret pressure, affection failure, neuropathy, post-traumatic accent disorder, abasement and anxiety. Then, in 2004, Clayton was told he had end-stage renal failure.
He banned dialysis.
In the letter Pamela wrote nominating Ono as a healthcare hero, she declared her husband’s accompaniment of apperception and accompaniment of actuality at that time.
“Clayton basically arrested out of active and spent his canicule on the recliner cat-and-mouse to die,” she wrote.
Then, afterwards a adventitious affair in a parking lot and a chat with Pamela, Ono aggregate some adamantine words with a man whose activity she would anon activate allowance to prolong by added than a decade.
“I basically asked him if he capital to see his kids alum from aerial school,” she remembered. “Did he appetite to see his grandchildren and watch them go through school? And again there were a lot of tears. But he fabricated his accommodation to try dialysis and it formed well.”
Pamela said the after-effects of that chat and his best to accompany analysis led Clayton to resume activities he admired in life, such as gardening. He additionally went on to apostle for those with disabilities. Aggregate he did and aggregate he became over the aing 10 years, Pamela credits in allotment to Ono.
“She actually adored his activity twice,” Pamela said.
Ono became a assistant at 21 because aback in the 1960s, she said, there weren’t a lot of able opportunities for women. But the job was a accustomed fit, article Pamela said she noticed immediately.
“When we aboriginal met Dee, we could acquaint appropriate off she loves what she does,” Pamela said. “I nominated her because she took affliction of my bedmate for 13 years. She aloof has this faculty of benevolence … of caring for people.”
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