Just Another Guy with Opinions

Baby Michael Futi Buried in Hawaii

Posted by shadmia on February 15, 2008

Michael Tony Futi, at 2 weeks old never got a chance at life. He died in a locked holding room with his mother screaming at uncaring officials for help. He was on the way to have heart surgery at Kapiolani Hospital in Honolulu, accompanied by his mother, Luaipou and a nurse when all three were detained by immigration officials at Honolulu airport. It is still unclear why they were being detained. In a tearful interview with KITV, Luaipou explained what happened and said the family intends to sue.

Tony Futi, the baby’s father, who works for Goodyear in American Samoa, said that funeral arrangements are being carried out by the Hawaii National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahai Faith of which he and his family are members. This is because Bahai rules state that the body must be buried where the person dies, if it would take more than 10 hours to transport that body elsewhere. Michael Futi will be buried on Saturday in Hawaii. The Futi’s have relatives in Hawaii and Tony was making travel arrangements to attend the funeral. See his interview with Malama TV News here.

Tony said he never thought his son would die the way he did. “We were praying that his surgery would be successful,” he said. He also said that the only pictures of the baby were the two taken for his travel documents. He has no other pictures to remind him of his dead son. If he had known that he would never see or hold him again he would have taken more.

According to LBJ General Counsel Terry Lovelace, all travel documents for baby Michael Futi, his mother Luaitou and a nurse had been in order and he sees no reason Honolulu airport authorities held them up. He explained that the hospital obtained a visa waiver for the baby’s mother who is a Samoan citizen so she could travel with her son. Lovelace said they were “shocked and horrified” to learn that the baby died while being detained. According to the family attorney Rick Fried, the baby, his mother and a nurse had been the first ones to get off the plane and the first in line at Immigrations and Customs check-points when they were detained.

Despite the baby having an IV, the authorities decided to hold them in a warm room.


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