Maui girl doing OK after heart transplant
What ever happened to Daphne Kawaiaea, the 11-year-old girl from Hana, Maui, who underwent a heart transplant in 2002?
Answer: The Kawaiaeas recently returned from the Stanford Medical Center in California after completing Daphne's annual heart checkup.
Daphne's mother, Wallette, said her daughter is doing fine and has been allowed to reduce the number of pills she has been taking.
But Daphne is still taking some 18 pills daily to ensure there is no rejection of the heart from her body, Kawaiaea said.
The family also takes Daphne to Oahu every four months for medical checkups.
Daphne, 15, a sophomore at Hana High School, said she enjoys playing on the varsity volleyball team and recently visited Oahu to play in the statewide Division II tournament.
Along with the team, she visited the Bishop Museum and the Arizona Memorial for the first time.
She said she enjoys the rural life and riding her horse, Six Pack.
Daphne said she hopes to be a fashion designer one day.
Wallette Kawaiaea said she is grateful for the support of individuals and the community.
Maui residents organized a concert fundraiser about four years ago at Oskie Rice Arena, featuring country-western stars Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson.
"We're just thankful to the family who gave us the heart ... and everybody who helped," Kawaiaea said.
Donations to the Kawaiaeas for Daphne's medical expenses may be sent to Daphne Kawaiaea, P.O. Box 185, Hana, HI 96713.
This update was written by reporter Gary T. Kubota.
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