Thursday, July 12, 2001

Moe Keale’s ‘angels’
are awarded

2 citizens and 2 cops saved
the entertainer after a
March heart failure

By Nelson Daranciang

After watching all four of his older brothers and two older sisters die of heart failure before their 60th birthdays, local entertainer Moe Keale was determined not to follow in their footsteps.

Keale exercised to strengthen his heart, and at 61 he thought he was in the clear.

But on March 12, while working out with his wife, Carol, on a treadmill at 24-Hour Fitness in Kaneohe, Keale collapsed.

"All of a sudden he went, 'Whoa,' and he stood on the side of the treadmill like you're supposed to, and he like slowly melted. He didn't fall back like a thud; it was slow," said Carol Keale.

Keale's collapse attracted the attention of Neal Takamori, who was on a treadmill nearby. As a coach and athletic director at McKinley High School, Takamori had extensive CPR training.

"I knew what I needed to do. The exact number (of chest compressions) you had to perform before you apply mouth-to-mouth, that was running through my mind," said Takamori. "I just tried to check his color -- somebody was counting; I don't know who was counting."

Off-duty Honolulu police officers Colby Kashimoto and Randall Rivera were also working out at the fitness center when Keale collapsed. They got an automatic defibrillator from Rivera's police car and used it as Takamori continued CPR.

Physician Peter Lee helped stabilize Keale before and after paramedics arrived to transport him to Castle Medical Center.

"I don't remember very much. All I know is, I went down, and I woke up in the hospital," said Keale.

That was four days later.

Keale fully recovered and now has a defibrillator in his chest to prevent future attacks.

Honolulu police Chief Lee Donohue yesterday presented Takamori, Kashimoto and Rivera Certificates of Merit for their actions. Lee was not available.

The ceremony was the first opportunity for Keale and his wife to meet and thank the men who helped save the entertainer's life.

"They're angels. God put these people in the right place at the right time," said Carol Keale.

Also yesterday, Donohue presented the department's Warrior Bronze Medal of Valor to Detective Wilson Lau and officers Thayne Costa, Day Oshiro, Brian Taniguchi and Dean Terakawa for their actions in a case where a man had killed his ex-girlfriend in the Ala Moana Center parking lot on Jan. 13.

Police said Michell Udani, 26, fatally shot Cherry Ann Domingo, 25, with a sawed-off shotgun. The officers then fatally shot Udani after he refused their orders to put down his weapon and fired on the officers.

Honolulu Police Internal Affairs has cleared the officers of any wrongdoing. The case is still under review by the Honolulu city prosecutor.

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