The Queen’s Medical Center is asking for help to identify a patient known only as "Josie May."
She has no identification and that name hasn’t been confirmed but it is what she calls herself, said Teri Kalama, a social worker assistant at Queen’s.
She is believed to be from New Zealand, and police in New Zealand and the New Zealand Herald have been notified, Kalama said.
The Honolulu Police Department sent the woman’s fingerprints to Interpol in Washington, D.C.
Josie May’s story, pieced together from what she told people at the Waikiki Community Center and Queen’s, is that she was homeless about 10 years, living in the bushes behind the center, Kalama said.
The center, which was keeping an eye out for her, found her ill last August and sent her to Queen’s by ambulance. She was discharged last month after 300 days at Queen’s and placed in a foster home, Kalama said.
She weighs 114 pounds, is about 5 feet 5 inches tall and has long, gray-white hair, brown eyes and fair skin.
At different times and to different people she has said: "Came to Hawaii on holiday" and didn’t know if she stayed too long that she would be left here. Kalama said they don’t know what that means.
She said they had a clinical social worker from outside the hospital talk to the woman.
"Her thought pattern is pretty linear. She tells stories. We’re not quite sure when these things happened," Kalama said.
It’s pretty certain she’s from New Zealand because she has a slight accent and talks about many places there, such as Hamilton, New Plymouth and Auckland, Kalama said.
She told people she had worked at Hamilton Hospital and Bethany Hospital, went to the New Plymouth Baptist Church and St. Michael’s, another church in New Zealand.
She’s medically stable but likely has some dementia, Queen’s reported.
"She’s very pleasant and peaceful," Kalama said. "She’s basically a little old lady who needs somebody to look after her, but without being able to verify her identity, she can’t get any kind of insurance coverage. She has no money that we know of."
Queen’s obtained a public guardian for its unknown patient from the Office of the Public Guardian to get permission to seek information about her. Hospitals normally release no information about patients because of federal privacy restrictions.
Anyone who has information about Josie May’s identify is asked to call Kalama at 545-8941 or Queen’s social worker Janice Tom, 585-5698.