Sick leave day donations for a colleague in need

Can you help?

Aloha Colleagues,

Kaimuki Middle School teacher, Minette Fernandez, needs our kokua.  Minette has been recommended for a heart transplant.  She will be going to Cleveland to be tested and evaluated for inclusion on the heart transplant list.  It has been a demanding and difficult time for Minette and her family.  Please kokua and show your support for Minette by donating some sick leave days.

Donations can be made to:     
Minette Fernandez-Cabral #2058

How to donate days:
Ask your SASA for the Leave Share Donation form. Complete the form and submit to your SASA.

It’s that simple, please help a colleague with a life threatening illness.  It is time sensitive so send your donations as soon as possible.

Minette Fernandez

When hearts filled with prayer band together miracles DO happen-
Heart 2 Heart for Minette Fernandez!

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Heart patient is pushing for isle transplant services

By Michael Tsai

POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, Sep 09, 2014
LAST UPDATED: 03:18 p.m. HST, Sep 09, 2014

When Kaimuki Middle School health teacher Minette Fernandez collapsed with heart failure in the middle of class in May, her students knew exactly what to do.

Thanks to their quick action in calling 911, paramedics arrived just in time to save Fernandez’s life.

Fernandez, who has cardiomyopathy, a disease of the heart muscle, had made it a point to let her students know about her condition and about what they should do if something happened.

“Sometimes we don’t tell people what’s going on, and it makes it harder for them to help us,” Fernandez said. “I tell all my classes about my heart condition, and I tell them that they have two minutes to call for help.”

Fernandez, 47, was born and raised on Kauai and educated at the University of Hawaii. A standout soccer player, she was also an aspiring all-natural bodybuilder who worked out several hours a day, six days a week.

Doctors told Fernandez that her excellent conditioning helped her to survive the heart failure episode and to recover swiftly from subsequent defibrillator shock, chest compressions and other lifesaving measures.

They also told her that her already well-established health habits and overall high level of fitness make her an excellent potential candidate for a heart transplant.

The problem is that since Hawaii Medical Center was forced to close three years ago, there has not been a full-service transplant center available in Hawaii. Fernandez, like other heart patients here, will have to go to the mainland to get the evaluation needed to be added to the transplant list and, if approved, to receive the actual transplant.

That potentially life-extending trip has been on hold since last month, when Fernandez suffered a stroke brought on by a blood clot.

Fernandez said her recent experiences have left her with a strong desire to change the situation for local heart patients. She has started a dialogue with the Queen’s Medical Center to see whether it would be possible to expand its existing transplant services to include heart procedures. She is also looking into having heart specialists make periodic visits to Hawaii to conduct pre-transplant evaluations.

In the meantime, Fernandez is doing her best to live within her new, hopefully temporary limitations by eating well, walking with her dogs and staying positive.

“I still have a lot I want to do in my lifetime, and I want to be in the best shape of my life when I do it,” she says.

Friends and family are raising funds to cover Fernandez’s medical expenses and are soliciting donations of sick-leave hours through the DOE’s Leave Share program. To learn more, visit

Reach Michael Tsai at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).