Enduring love


POSTED: Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Fueled by her deep love for her husband, 87-year-old Terry Kaide challenged the state to allow the married couple of 64 years to live together in the same care home.

Her perseverance resulted in Gov. Linda Lingle signing into law Senate Bill 190, allowing two private-pay clients to live in the same residential care home under a two-year demonstration project.

The couple had been forced to live apart for two years before Lingle signed the bill in April. They lived together for seven months before Sidney Kaide, 89, died in November.

Thankful for spending his last days with him, Kaide said she hopes the new law will become permanent to help others in the same situation.

She doesn't want others to face the same hardship she endured, said daughter Charlotte Kaide.

“;I believe my mom's heart was not only to look out for herself, but that she wanted to help others because of what she went through,”; she said.

Before the new law took effect, Kaide and her husband lived in separate care homes because the state allowed only one private-pay client and two Medicaid clients to live in the same residential care home. Both Kaide and her husband were private-pay clients.

Many calls were made to the Department of Human Services seeking an exemption, but Kaide and her family members were told “;the law is the law.”; Kaide, retired chief clerk of the 3rd Circuit Court on the Big Island, refused to accept that.

“;We decided, let's go and change the law,”; said Kaide. “;That's the only remedy.”;

She knew something had to be done soon because her husband's health was deteriorating as a result of bladder cancer.

“;He was already showing signs of weakness,”; said Kaide. “;There wasn't much strength in his fingers. Because of his condition, it was important for me to be with him.”;

Unfamiliarity with the legislative process didn't deter the Kaide family from diving in and taking the necessary steps to reunite the couple. Senate Bill 190 was introduced by Human Services Committee Chairwoman Suzanne Chun-Oakland after Kaide spoke to House Human Services Chairman Rep. John Mizuno about her plight.

Wheelchair-bound with paralysis from the waist down due to complications from back surgeries, Kaide took three trips between Honolulu and the Big Island to testify before lawmakers. Each time, she gave her testimony with courage and grace, said daughter Gale Sakaguchi. “;She brought her heart to the table as just a real person, no fanfare, no fluff.”;

More than 1,000 people expressed support for the bill, which took effect immediately.

“;People had a personal interest because everyone has a loved one and wouldn't want to experience what my mom and dad went through. We are grateful to see so much support from family, friends and strangers who just had the compassion and desire to help support the bill,”; said Sakaguchi. “;I admire my mother for the woman that she is. She leads by example to be a woman of courage, inner strength, yet full of love and compassion.”;