By Kerry Miller Share Del.icio.us
Beloved Hawaiian entertainer Moe Keale may have physically passed on four years ago, but he will never be gone from the hearts and minds of those who loved him, including his wife and his devoted fans.
“It was the most beautiful relationship you could dream of having. I miss him every second of every day,” says his wife, Carol Keale, of the couple’s 27-year marriage.
The singer/actor who appeared on MidWeek’s cover in March 1986 died of a heart attack (cardiac arrest) on April 15, 2002. Keale survived a previous heart attack he had while at a Windward Oahu gym when a doctor and an off-duty police officer who happened to be at the site used an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) to save his life.
“It was very much considered a major miracle,” says Carol. After his literal near-death experience (Keale was declared dead for seven and a half minutes), he made it his mission to educate others about cardiac arrest and how an AED can save a life.
“Moe decided he wanted to share his experience. He felt the only way was to publicize his persona for the betterment of the community,” Carol says.
Today, she continues her husband’s mission and fills a seat he once held on an American Heart Association selection committee, which works to distribute AEDs in Hawaii. To date, she has overseen the distribution of 85 AEDs in the state and is working to make sure all police officers are required to carry them. Keale has also served as director of the Heart Walk, an organized benefit concert promoting cardiac health, and is a trained CPR/AED first aid instructor. Carol has also created a take-home CPR kit for families.
“We can reduce the risk of dying from heart attack, stroke by 25 percent by doing things we’re supposed to do. It’s been my obsession to continue,” she says.
Continuing Moe’s work, she says, “really saved me. People said ‘Carol should take his place on the selection committee.’ The feeling it gave me to give the gift of life. It completely turned me around.”
She recalls numerous instances when friends, family and even complete strangers have contacted her to say they’d seen Moe, talked with him, and one friend who said that after saying his name aloud he saved her car from crashing into oncoming traffic. As a result, she decided to put these stories into a book, tentatively titled, Moe-ments In Time.
Carol has also found enough of her late husband’s recordings, which were not previously released, to work on putting together two new CDs, one of which will be a Keale family album, featuring Moe’s nephews, Israel and Michael.
- Kerry Miller
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