Honolulu, Hawaii — Leahi Hospital, as part of its National Nursing Home Week activities, May 8-12, recognized its oldest residents (long-term care patients). The nursing home staff honored Mrs. Eunice Kim, who turned 104 years old on April 23, and Fujie Hasegawa, who will turn 101 years old on May 22.
“This is a chance for us to celebrate a real and sometime overlooked milestone,” said Vincent Lee, Leahi Hospital chief executive officer. “Our staff recognizes the importance of caring for these individuals who impacted so many lives even at a nursing-home setting. This birthday celebration provides us with an opportunity to recognize these unique and outstanding ladies.”
The cheerful ceremony, attended by the patients’ relatives and hospital staff, included a special birthday cake with candles for each lady. The highlight of the party was during the blowing out of the candle portion: Although Mrs. Kim did not have the energy to blow out her candles as Mrs. Hasegawa, she extinguished the candle placing a cup over the flame!
Mrs. Eunice Kim was born in Cheong Ju, Korea. She relocated to Hawaii in 1956 to join her husband Reverend Paul H. Kim, who was the minister at St. Luke’s Church on Judd Street. In 1995, she was admitted to Leahi Hospital. Mrs. Kim’s secret to a long life is, “Be happy, serve others, and work with the soil!”
Mrs Fujie Hasegawa was born in Hiroshima, Japan. She married Hawaii-born James S. Hasegawa and moved to Hawaii in 1922. She was admitted to Leahi Hospital in 1996.
When asked about her favorite memory, Mrs. Hasegawa reflected upon her days as a single parent, “I’m surprised that I had an ability to survive and provide for a family without a father. And I want others to know that they can too, no matter what the situation is.”
Leahi Hospital is one of 12 facilities operated and managed by the Hawaii Health Systems Corporation (HHSC). Established in 1996, HHSC is a public benefit corporation of the State of Hawaii. As the state’s safety-net healthcare system, HHSC continues to fulfill the state’s promise to provide quality, hometown healthcare.