Segments in this Video

Return to Tuvalu (02:52)


Dr. Stephen Homasi and Dr. Nese Ituaso-Conway return home to treat the population. The poor country is dependent on foreign aid, especially for health care. An accident left surgeon Stephen Homasi paralyzed.

Limited Resources (04:00)

Dr. Colin Tukuitonga explains that the budget for medical care is limited. In December 2013, Homasi fell on his back and could not feel anything. He recalls how the medical staff reacted to treating him.

High Level Spinal Cord Injury (02:05)

Homasi could not receive the care he needed in Tuvalu. A committee convened to determine if he was a candidate to be airlifted abroad. The Minister of Health approved the transfer, and Homasi traveled to New Zealand.

Spinal Unit Ward (02:30)

Homasi receives surgery to stabilize the fracture and begins intense rehabilitation. Not only is he paralyzed, but dependent on his parents. He may never be able to return to Tuvalu.

Dr. Nese Runs the Clinic Alone (05:12)

Enele Sopoaga is committed to improving his country's accessibility. When the accident occurred Homasi was paralyzed from the shoulders down, but now moves three of his extremities. Fili, Homasi's father, hopes he walks before being discharged, but funding is running out.

Funding Runs Out (03:02)

Homasi travels to Fiji, where therapy is cheaper. His parents and sister tend to his needs. He is improving slowly and can now eat on his own.

Lack of Equipment (04:11)

Homasi left New Zealand with only a hoist and a motorized wheelchair— he needs a bed designed to reduce pressure sores. The government will not pay for additional gear; Homasi is devastated.

The Attitude Team (03:59)

Home Healthcare Center donates a bed and commode to Homasi. Without a bed, caregivers would need to rotate Homasi every two hours to avoid pressure sores. He develops a Facebook group to give advice to clinicians in the South Pacific.

Credits: Return to Tuvalu— Against the Odds (00:42)

Credits: Return to Tuvalu— Against the Odds

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Return to Tuvalu—Against the Odds: Inspiring Stories of Disability

Part of the Series : Against the Odds: Inspiring Stories of Disability
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Dr. Stephen Homasi was the director of Tuvalu Health Services until an accident rendered him paralyzed. Watch as he rehabilitates in this episode of Against the Odds

Length: 30 minutes

Item#: EDP115794

ISBN: 978-1-63521-145-0

Copyright date: ©2014

Closed Captioned

Performance Rights

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Only available in USA and Canada.