West Oahu
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Pearl City's Makana Gerona waves from Kaiser Permanente's "Aloha Festival" float in the New Year's Day Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, Calif. The 15-year-old was one of 10 young Kaiser patients - and the only one from Hawaii - who, because of their fight against life-threatening health conditions, were chosen to ride. Two years ago Gerona went into a coma for weeks when a blood vessel in her brain burst. After months of rehabilitation, she learned to walk and talk again. Kaiser doctors had no other cases of patients who had lived through such a rupture. Gerona is now back in school, earning straight A's at Kamehameha, whose band was just behind Kaiser's float in the parade. Gerona has resumed regular activities like playing volleyball and dancing hula. Photos courtesy of Kaiser Permanente.

Publication date: January 09, 2008
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