It started as an adventure between a brother and sister. But on June 11, 19-year-old Kenneth Hu took on the Makapuu Tom Tom Trail… alone.
“The hike was pretty normal. I met two people up there and asked them for directions, but they said they didn’t really know how far it goes either, so I just kept going,” Hu said.
The last thing Hu remembers was looking up at a pair of utility poles.
“A week later, I was at Queen’s hospital,” Hu said.
Hu fell 75 feet and was air-lifted out of the trail after someone called 911.
He suffered a fractured skull and ribs and was in critical condition. His family was praying for the best.
“When I watched him suffering, and I was not able to do anything, it really hurt. Broke my heart,” said John Hu, Kenneth’s father.
Hu spent 18 days in the hospital, re-learning how to walk, talk, and eat on his own. Two months later, he continues to deal with attention and memory difficulties.
“They’re kind of concerned that I may not do well in school this year,” Hu said.
But with his best foot forward, Hu reached out to KHON2, wanting to thank those who saved his life.
“I don’t know who they are at all and I was hoping to find out who they are to thank them because I’m really grateful,” Hu said.
“So looking back on it, what would you change?” KHON2 asked.
“I was pretty confident with myself, but I didn’t really prepare that well,” Hu said. “You should definitely go with other people and research the trail a little and know what you’re getting yourself into.”
This advice is also given by the Honolulu Fire Department.
“You have to be prepared, you have to be aware of your environment, honest with your capabilities, and prepared for your adventure,” HFD Capt. Terry Seelig said.
“I’m really lucky to be alive after all that and I basically learned to appreciate life a little more,” Hu said.