Kaimuki Doc Saves Boy’s Sight

Wednesday - February 03, 2010
By MidWeek Staff
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Kaimuki ophthalmologist John Olkowski saved the eyesight of eighth-grader Kingston Fereti with a Crystalens implant. Photo from Olkowski.

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.

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