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Mrs Muliaga, 44, died on Tuesday after a contractor working for Mercury Energy disconnected power to her Mangere home, disabling an oxgyen machine she was given to assist her breathing. The Herald on Sunday has learned Mrs Muliaga was fatally ill when she left hospital last month and not expected to live much longer. The obesity-related heart and lung disease which was killing Mrs Muliaga was being kept at bay by a cocktail of powerful medication - not the oxygen machine. Mrs Muliaga had previously turned her back on using the drugs to seek traditional Samoan health care. Her use of medication will be one focus of a police investigation into the contractor\'s actions. Revelations Folole Muliaga was already gravely ill when Mercury Energy cut power to her home will not hinder a case for compensation, her family\'s lawyer has said. She said Mrs Muliaga\'s illness would have been worsened by the stress of having the power cut to her home. Other investigations are also underway in a bid to establish whether the disconnection was related to Mrs Muliaga\'s death. The power was cut even though the family had made two payments in the last month on their bill, and only owed $168. News that Mrs Muliaga had previously rejected conventional medical help came as Mercury Energy announced it was suspending all disconnections. The company that employed the contractor for Mercury revealed it had explicit written instructions to cut the power to the Muliaga home. Family spokesman Brendan Sheehan confirmed to the Herald on Sunday: "She was a very ill woman. She was gravely ill." Sheehan said he believed she had been taking her medication but did not know definitely. He also said it was common in Pacific Island families to seek traditional health care. Middlemore Hospital bosses have refused to comment further on the case, citing the family\'s right to privacy. But police will be able to bypass privacy concerns in their investigation and will study medical records showing Mrs Muliaga had previously stopped taking medication given to her on release from hospital - instead opting to seek help through traditional Pacific Island healing methods. My thoughts are with the Muliaga family and i have full respect that this is a very hard time, but the family needs to see there should be no blame in this unfortunate event. Though the facts are the family took the offer of $10,000 from Mercury Energy for funeral costs. They also gave money to their church before paying their bill. These are confirmed reports from the families spokesperson, majority of other information is merely hearsay but information will be added once confirmed. 3:20PM Monday June 04, 2007 - Muliaga family accuse police of racism - See links


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