Kaimuki Doc Saves Boy’s Sight

MidWeek Islander (East Oahu) - - EAST OAHU ISLANDER / FEBRUARY 3, 2010 / -

Eighth-grader Kingston Fereti caught a stick with his left eye last spring, which caused all kinds of dam­age. But it set off a chain of events that saved his eye­sight and brought out the best in peo­ple who are part of our be­lea­guered health­care sys­tem.

To­day, in­stead of los­ing vi­sion, Fereti has ac­quired a fancy in­traoc­u­lar lens and is looking for­ward to years of play­ing sports un­en­cum­bered by wear­ing glasses.

The del­i­cate op­er­a­tion, per­formed Dec. 16 by a Kaimuki oph­thal­mol­o­gist John Olkowski, im­planted a state-of-the-art Crys­tal­ens, which was do­nated by Bausch & Lomb. Drs. Olkowski and Elise Louis (op­tometrist) of Eye­sight Hawaii do­nated their ser­vices to Fereti, whose fam­ily couldn’t have af­forded the $4,000 lens im­plant and surgery fee on their own. (Their in­sur­ance would not have cov­ered it.)

“It was an ex­tremely chal­leng­ing surgery to a trau­matic in­jury, and I am very pleased to say it went very, very well,” said Olkowski, a Hawaii Kai res­i­dent who also per­formed the first such op­er­a­tion in the state more than five years ago.“Kingston is a won­der­ful young man who I hope can get back to be­ing an ac­tive and healthy 13-year-old.”

Fereti also is one of the youngest pa­tients to re­ceive such an im­plant to re­place a cataract, which de­vel­oped fol­low­ing the freak ac­ci­dent. The flex­i­ble lens al­lows him to see bet­ter at all dis­tances.

Olkowski is chief sur­geon and med­i­cal di­rec­tor of Eye­sight Hawaii Vi­sion In­sti­tute on Wa­ialae Av­enue.

A re­cent de­ci­sion by the U. S. Depart­ment of Com­merce and Con­sumer Af­fairs to with­hold funds meant for pub­lic, ed­u­ca­tional and gov­ern­men­tal (PEG) ac­cess ser­vices will im­pact ac­cess on Oahu, too, caus­ing cut­backs in ‘ Olelo Com­mu­nity Me­dia chan­nels and ser­vices, the clo­sure of some me­dia cen­ters and staff lay­offs, said Keali‘ i Lopez, head of ‘ Olelo Com­mu­nity Me­dia.

“Hav­ing th­ese funds with­held will re­quire us to re­duce or elim­i­nate the num­ber of me­dia cen­ters we have. They are avail­able to the pub­lic as well as many ele­men­tary, mid­dle and high schools, and we help peo­ple learn how to use me­dia tech­nol­ogy.” Around $1.7 mil­lion was with­held this year, Lopez said, and the 2010 amount is un­known.

( The DCCA was to an­nounce its de­ci­sion on Oceanic’s fran­chise re­newal ap­pli­ca­tion on or be­fore Dec. 31, 2009, and the new Oahu fran­chise went go

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