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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, November 29, 2001

Melveen Leed in hospital after mild heart attack

By Wayne Harada
Advertiser Entertainment Editor

Entertainer Melveen Leed, grieved at the death of her friend and fellow Local Diva Loyal Garner, suffered an apparent mild heart attack Tuesday at Garner's burial.

Melveen Leed's doctor said she should be well enough to perform in two weeks. Tonight's tribute concert to the late Loyal Garner has been rescheduled for Dec. 19.

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"She had chest pains, and medics had to be called," said a spokesperson for the group. Medics were summoned to the Hawaiian Memorial Park in Kane'ohe, Garner's final resting place. Leed was taken to Castle Medical Center's Emergency Room, where her condition yesterday was described as a myocardial infarction — kind of a mild heart attack, yielding chest pains due to a spasm of the artery. Her doctor said Leed, known to her fans as "Da Tita," needs to rest in the hospital for a few days.

The setback forced the Divas to postpone their holiday concert and tribute to their fellow singer, which had been scheduled for tonight at the Sheraton Waikiki's Hawai'i Ballroom. The event has been rescheduled for Dec. 19.

"We would like to keep her under medical observation for a couple of days just be to sure. After that she will need some additional time to recuperate," said Dr. Michael Y.T. Yee, consulting cardiologist, who said Leed should be well enough to perform in two weeks.

Leed was emotionally drained and visibility upset at Monday's funeral at Kawaiaha'o Church, as friends, fans and family mourned and remembered Garner, Hawai'i's "Lady of Love."

As celebrities and fans snaked through a long line to pay their respects, a sobbing Leed sat close to Garner's companion and manager for 20 years, Janice Ukauka.

Despite her grief, she delivered an emotional eulogy recapping their long friendship.

"I've lost my best friend," she said at the funeral.

Carole Kai and Nohelani Cypriano, the two other Divas, said that tickets to the concert would be honored on the rescheduled date. "We're still committed to paying tribute to Loyal, and donating a portion ($5) of the ticket sales to Loyal's medical fund," said Kai.

Cypriano suggested that those unable to make the new date give the tickets to family, friends, or a loved one, as an early Christmas present.

Through Kai, Leed said from her hospital bed: "Don't you dare do anything without me. I will be there."

Kai added: "Maybe it's Loyal's way of saying it's too soon (to perform). That we need to practice some more, that we're not ready. Loyal wanted a perfect concert. But so did Melveen."