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A romantic getaway in Hawaii turns into a nightmare, but this couple is crying tears of joy

Published: Dec. 2, 2021 at 4:10 PM HST|Updated: Dec. 2, 2021 at 4:47 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - When Dawn and Kevin Kenny left Hilton Hawaiian Village on Thursday morning, it wasn’t an ordinary check-out.

Instead, it was a farewell to those that have become their extended family.

The Kennys flew to Hawaii in mid-October to celebrate their 14th wedding anniversary. But on the way here, the trip took a turn.

“It was just suddenly throwing up a lot on the plane, which never ever happens and it just snowballed and I went septic,” Dawn Kenny said. “It was just within hours.”

After being medically transported from Hawaii Island to Oahu, her condition grew worse.

While doctors treated septic kidney infections, she went into cardiac arrest twice and was placed on life support for 11 days.

“I was awake for three days with a ventilator on me inside my mouth and that was difficult because they couldn’t get enough air in my throat,” she said.

“That’s something I never want to experience again, that feeling of it. That was scary not knowing am I gonna walk again? Am I gonna go home?”

Once out of danger she needed extensive rehabilitation ― meaning a longer stay and increased expenses.

Through friends, Kevin Kenny found the Visitor Aloha Society of Hawaii, which got him a kamaaina rate for 5 weeks at the Hilton resort.

During his extended stay, staff grew into a valuable support system.

“We wouldn’t be here without the people of the state of Hawaii,” he said. “There are certain people that have stepped up so much, that have kept me sane, kept me strong for her. I don’t have the words, but to say mahalo.”

After getting married in Waimanalo and vacationing often in the islands, the Kennys consider Hawaii a second home and plan to return soon.

But this trip was especially life-changing.

“Thank you from the bottom of our hearts,” Dawn Kenny, said while fighting to hold back tears.

“We wouldn’t be here without everybody. We really wouldn’t. They are tears of joy because of everything that we survived. This was a survival.”

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