by Chelsea Jensen | West Hawaii Today
Kainoa Austin Churness Abril, 23, of Captain Cook, died Dec. 20, two days after his mo-ped was struck by a large pickup truck at the intersection of Kealakehe Parkway and Queen Kaahumanu Highway. While his current license did not indicate he was a registered donor at the time of the crash, his parents, Judy and John Abril, and his sister, Chelsea Abril, 19, said they knew Kainoa wanted to be a donor because he had recently reiterated that to his family after the death of his paternal grandmother, who donated her tissue and eyes to research.
"Being an organ donor was always on his mind," said Chelsea, who explained her older brother had always been a donor, but apparently missed registering on his last license renewal application. "It would be Kainoa to go out in such a special way and be a special part of other people's lives. It was his last selfless act."
Four of Kainoa's organs were harvested for donation, however, a match wasn't found in time for his heart, Judy said. Kainoa's kidneys went to two children in Maryland and his liver went to a man on Kauai. The kidneys went to mainland children because a match couldn't be found in Hawaii, she said.
Statewide 405 people are currently waiting for organs or tissue, with 379 of those people needing kidneys, said Legacy of Life Hawaii Marketing and Communications Coordinator Goldyn Daupin, who was unable to provide a breakdown by county. In 2010, 54 successful transplants were completed, but 16 people died because a matching donor couldn't be found, Daupin said.
While Kainoa, who was born Jan. 14, 1987, was probably best known among his friends and family for being talkative and fun-loving, he gained unwanted notoriety after charging a referee during a 2005 Konawaena High School basketball game.
After the incident, he was expelled from school and he ultimately pleaded guilty to terroristic threatening charges. He received a five-year deferred acceptance of his guilty plea in connection with the incident.
After that, Kainoa continued to have run-ins with the law, including convictions for misdemeanor abuse of a family or household member and other offenses stemming from a separate 2007 road rage incident. In September 2009, he was sentenced to serve up to five years in prison. He had been paroled Aug. 5, according to the Statewide Automated Victim Information Notification system.
Despite Kainoa's troubles, his father, John, said he had begun to see the return of the son he once knew in the months leading up to the accident.
Kainoa had "mellowed out" and started to get his life back on track, and at the time of his death he held two jobs, owned a mo-ped and was saving money to purchase a car and move out on his own, John said.
"This year, he was my boy again," he said. "Kainoa's personality came back. It was the best times."
A series of services are planned including a 5 p.m. Friday scattering of ashes -- on what would have been his 24th birthday -- aboard the Body Glove in waters off Magic Sands Beach Park. A second scattering of ashes will be held at 8 a.m. Saturday at Keauhou Bay to be followed by a benefit concert for the Kainoa Abril Memorial Fund at Napoopoo Beach Park that starts at 2 p.m.