Story: Pacific Island health

Purple heart

Purple heart

Writer Ta'afuli Andrew Fiu migrated to Auckland from Samoa with his family in 1970, aged five. He attended De La Salle College in Manukau, where he played rugby for the second XV. In the winter of 1979 Fiu collapsed during a game. He had rheumatic fever but was misdiagnosed with flu. The fever flared up into heart trouble and Fiu was admitted to Middlemore Hospital, where he had five open-heart surgery operations, a world record. In 2006 he told the story of his illness and struggles in a well-received memoir, Purple heart.

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How to cite this page:

Colin Tukuitonga, 'Pacific Island health - Children and young people', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 25 June 2024)

Story by Colin Tukuitonga, published 5 May 2011, reviewed & revised 9 Jan 2019