Sen Tuaolo says Governor had heart operation

KHJ News interviewed Senator Tuaolo Fruean by phone this afternoon concerning the condition of Governor Lolo Moliga.

The Pago Pago senator returned home last night after spending all of last week in Seattle, Washington, where the governor is hospitalized.

Tuaolo related that he was scheduled to return home on March 4; however, having learned that the governor was in Seattle and would be undergoing an operation, he decided to travel to Seattle to visit him.

He said he stayed at the same hotel the governor and the first lady were staying.

The governor underwent heart surgery last Wednesday and according to Senator Tuaolo, the operation was a success.

However, the governor developed breathing problems and another procedure was performed.

Tuaolo said from Thursday to yesterday, when he left Seattle, the governor had not woken up.  But he quoted First Lady Cynthia Moliga as saying, “Doctors have explained this was due to the governor being heavily sedated and there’s no need for concern.”

Tuaolo said he, Retirement Fund Director Talia Faafetai Iaulualo and Leapei Faaola of the Fono, a close friend of the governor, were the only non-family members who had a chance to visit the governor at the hospital.

First Lady Cynthia Moliga, the governor’s two brothers – Rep. Vaetasi Tuumolimoli Moliga and Administrative Services Director Malaepule Fuega Moliga, the governor’s children and other select family members were the only visitors with access to his hospital room.

Tuaolo gave a report of the governor’s health during today’s Senate session and advised that the Senate President visit Governor Lolo.

He said maybe if the governor hears a different voice he will wake up.

Tuaolo told KHJ News the Senate President plans to travel to Seattle on Thursday night.

The Pago Pago senator said he feels it’s important for the territory to be informed of the governor’s condition and that’s why he gave a report during the Senate session this morning.

He commented that perhaps the reason why the Governor’s Office didn’t release any information on the governor’s health is because they didn’t know his medical condition.

Tuaolo asked that the territory offer prayers for the governor, that his health is fully restored and he can return to the territory in the near future.