A move to Texas next week is bringing mixed emotions for a Maui teenager and her family.
17-year old Kamaile Paet has Cystic Fibrosis, and needs to undergo a double lung transplant.
Kamaile’s mother, Tiana Paet, explained her daughter has had the genetic disease, affecting her lungs and digestive system, since she was a baby.
Next week, her entire family will move to Houston for the surgery at the Texas Children’s Hospital, one of the top pediatric lung transplant programs in the country.
But, the family stresses, the temporary move won’t come cheap.
Neither Tiana or her husband, a Maui firefighter, will work when they relocate. Between medical and moving expenses, they’re unsure how they’ll fund the trip.
Paet says there isn’t an exact date for the transplant, but average wait times for the operation is about four to six months.
She explained since August, Kamaile has been hospitalized three times, takes dozens of medications and blood sugar checks a day, and performs breathing treatments four times daily.
“She’s just been steadily declining over the past year. Probably about 18-months ago she was at about 50%. Just within the past year or so it’s been a lot more hospital stays,” explained Paet.
Paet said her family hopes Kamaile will be back in Hawaii in time to graduate from Kamehameha Schools Maui next year.
The family has set up a GoFundMe to help with medical and moving expenses.