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The Journal Gazette

Thursday, October 24, 2013 9:31 pm

American Samoa delegate gets medevac to Oahu


American Samoa's delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives was to be medically evacuated Thursday from Pago Pago to Tripler Army Medical Center in Honolulu, for an unspecified but not life-threatening condition.

Officials at LBJ Medical Center in Pago Pago declined to say why 70-year-old Eni Faleomavaega was hospitalized early Tuesday.

An aircraft left Honolulu on Thursday morning to pick him up in Pago Pago, said Lt. Col. Chuck Anthony, a spokesman for the Hawaii National Guard, which was conducting the medevac mission.

Faleomavaega's office said he is under observation at the territory's only hospital.

A statement from his office said he's stable for travel. His office said doctors agree that he should be medically evacuated to Tripler for further evaluation because of a lack of specialized capabilities in American Samoa.

"We thank everyone involved who has tirelessly worked through the night to secure an air crew and a military plane," the statement said. "Once more, we thank you for your prayers and reiterate that Faleomavaega is not in a life-threatening situation."

A flight between Honolulu and Pago Pago normally takes about six hours.

American Samoa is a U.S. territory about 2,300 miles south of Hawaii. Its House delegate can vote in committee but not on the House floor.

Faleomavaega, a Democrat, is a member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and the House Committee on Natural Resources.


Associated Press writer Jennifer Sinco Kelleher contributed to this report from Honolulu.