Member of parliament Richard Hipa is recovering after emergency surgery last night. He was medevacked to New Zealand yesterday morning accompanied by his wife Matilda Mokahega and their youngest daughter Monu.
According to his son Aldric his father suffered complications on arrival in Auckland yesterday afternoon
The Royal New Zealand Air Force Hercules transporting Mr. Hipa arrived just before 2 pm NZ time but his condition fluctuated during the flight had worsened when the aircraft landed at Whenuapai and he went into cardiac arrest.
Aldric said they thought they had lost him but the swift actions of the medics revived his Dad and he was transported to the Auckland City hospital, where he went into surgery.
At just before 11 pm last night the surgeons told the family of the successful surgery.
“It is still early stages thous as the road to recovery will be long and it’s still unknown at this stage what other effects there might be. But for now, we are grateful for the success of the operation and that he is in a stable condition”, says Aldric Hipa.
In response to BCN news questions as to why the medical evacuation was on the Hercules and not with the Air Ambulance, Premier Dalton Tagelagi said that the issue is availability.
“New Zealand Air Ambulance services other countries in the region as well as within New Zealand itself. Unfortunately, there were no Air Ambulances available when we needed them during the last two emergencies. Utilizing New Zealand Air Force Hercules is always our last resort.”
Richard Hipa is a long-serving public servant, one of the youngest government directors serving Telecom Niue for many years before taking up the top public service role of Secretary to Government from 2008 until 2017.
At the last general elections in May last year, he topped the polls as a common roll member.
Richard Hipa’s family, his wife Matilda Mokahega, and their children extend their gratitude to family and friends for your prayers, love and support during this time.