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Catherine Puahala interview (deceased), Kalaupapa National Historical Park, 2016.

Catherine Puahala interview (deceased), Kalaupapa National Historical Park, 2016.



Patient: Cathrine Puahala. She was sent to Kalaupapa on May 15, 1942 and taken to Kalihi Hospital in Honolulu. She shared the following story in an interview 7/10/2001: "And we reached the door, there's a pear tree. That's where everybody separate[s], by the statue. If the statue could talk, it would tell us all the cries that he heard - from children, from mothers gave birth that have to be separated, from men. Even men cry. It was a sad place. And I saw a nurse come out, then my father gave her the suitcase. And then I look at my father. I said, "Papa." He say, "You go now, you go with the nurse." Oh, I fell onto the ground. I grab his leg and I hung on to his leg. I say, "No, Papa, no." He say, "You go now." I cried. I screamed. And he say, "You go now." The nurse grabbed my hand and she start pulling. I still hung on my father's leg. And finaly my father loosened my hand from his leg. And he told me, "You go." So I scream, I scream. I yell at my father, "Papa, Papa, Papa!" And I kept yelling, "Papa!" And he kept walking away from me, you know. I wanted him come back get me. I know my father was crying. It hurts. Seeing one of your child[ren] get taken away. He never turned around. I just screamed, screamed for him. And he went in the car. He left." Cathrine spent 66 years at Kalaupapa. She married, had a daughter and loved to travel. She passed away in 2008. If you know more about this person or would like to submit a search request for 'ohana sent to Kalaupapa, contact [email protected] for more informatino.





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