By Wayne Harada
Emme Tomimbang will have have her own special “Emme’s Island Moment” when she watches her latest TV special, from a hospital bed.
Tomimbang, the iconic host and producer of “Emme’s Island Moments,” will view her “Hawaii Five-0 Revisited” show from her hospital room Thursday (7 p.m. May 31, KGMB, repeating at 9 p.m. June 2), after suffering an aneurism. Her condition stabilized, but she remains ensconced in a hospital bed for observation. Visitors have been prohibited, so she can continue to recuperate.
The health issues paradoxically have placed the TV host and hometown celebrity into an uncustomary role, of subject and newsmaker, instead of TV figure and interrogator. The other side of the coin, so to speak.
Her fans and the media have been displayed concern about her status; she's fine, so no worries. The role reversal — she’s normally the one clamoring for news, sound bytes and interviews — has been an unexpected switcheroo.
In a voicemail left on my iPhone, Tomimbang assured me that she is getting the prescribed rest and the privacy, though not in a tony resort with room service.
Her temporary departure from the whirlpool of details of shooting and editing a TV special necessitated a work ethic turnaround. Simply, she said, “I just had to let go.”
Also, Tomimbang had been a caregiver for her husband, former judge James Burns, who has had his own medical challenges the past year, necessitating her to withdraw from active TV production work for a year.
“I was totally out of it,” she admitted. “But I’m fine now; I’m OK.”
She sounded a tad tired but relaxed, with her health situation in the hands of her doctors who mandated a much-needed time-out.
“Now I’m the other side of caregiving,” she said. “I’m now realizing how very, very – what’s the word – precious life is. I’m worried about Jim; but again, I’ll just have to let go for awhile.”
Until she’s back to her old normal, of course.
The “Five-0” installment — a mix of CBS' original Jack Lord series with the Alex O’Loughlin reboot – marked her return to familiar turf. She dusted off file footage of the late James MacArthur, the original Danno, and Rose Freeman, the widow of the series’ original producer and creator, Leonard Freeman, and went full circle with a more recent chat with Peter Lenkov, the producer of the current version.
Her own health situation has helped her refocus her rhythm.
“I will be watching from the hospital room, with my nursing staff; they’ve all been super.”
It's the first show she's ever produced where she hasn't put her fingerprints on the final product. She'll see a special — along with her audience — that was in final edit, when she entered the hospital.
“I not allowed to say where I am,” she said.
OK, as I earlier reported, she’s been in Queen’s, but the medical center has been pretty good about denying her presence there. So: don’t go, don’t try to intrude, don't call; just offer your own prayers for her healthy recovery.
In time, she’ll go public and will back in the saddle. Rest is what Tomimbang needs most now.