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It’s a call no parent ever wants to get — that their child is in the hospital, fighting for his or her life.
But a Maui mother got that call last weekend.
Her sixteen month old son had fallen out of a window, while his aunty was babysitting him.
He’s now is in the intensive care unit at Kaiser Permanente Moanalua Medical Center.
The little boy has a long road to recovery, but his parents are grateful he’s still alive.
Aymara Kirby of Kihei describes her son Cheveyo Hamala as happy, rambunctious, and smart.
“He started walking when he was six months. He was crawling when he was three months,” Kirby said.
But a recent picture of Cheveyo shows him in a hospital bed with tubes, and gauze covering part of his head.
Kirby says she was sick over the weekend, so her sister, who lives in Makawao, offered to watch Cheveyo.
“She was crying and crying and she stopped and I realized she said my son had fell out the window,” Kirby said.
Cheveyo fell from the second floor window onto the grass and dirt.
He was flown to the Queen’s Medical Center on Oahu, where doctors removed part of his skull to help with the brain swelling.
“And every day since then we’ve been praying and praying and praying that he’ll be okay,” Kirby said.
Today, mom and dad got to see Cheveyo for the first time since the accident.
“Today’s my birthday, and I was surprised to look at him and he opened his eyes and looked at me,” Cheveyo’s father Hudson Hamala said.
He also got to hold him.
You may not realize this, but this kind of accident happens too often.
Between 2005 and 2011, 416 children in Hawaii fell out of windows. And two of those children died. That’s according to Keiki Injury Prevention Coalition (KIPC).
And it happens more often here in Hawaii than parts of the mainland.
For example, the prevalence in Hawaii is 39/100,000 kids versus 8/100,000 kids in Dallas, Texas.
KIPC says in Hawaii, people often leave their windows open, and we have a lot of multi-story homes, and condo buildings.
“All she told me was he was playing on her iPad on the couch and she had gotten up to put his Legos away, and she had turned around and all she saw was his feet going out the window,” Kirby said.
KIPC has offered these prevention tips: do not place furniture near windows, plant bushes under windows to cushion the fall, and use window guards. Screens aren’t always enough to prevent a child from falling out of a window.
“You have to watch them all the time because even those five seconds, couple of seconds, even one second can change your life. Did mine,” Kirby said.
There’s a fund set up to help pay for medical expenses insurance won’t cover, plus Kirby says she won’t be able to work for at least several months.
If you’d like to help, you can go to any Bank of Hawaii branch, and tell them it’s for the “Cheveyo Hamala Special Fund.”