The Blind Can See Again…

Mikaere's surgery

Mikaere’s surgery

Annie Hiller of Project Vision Hawaii, stands with Mikaere shortly after he arrived in Honolulu. Annie 'made it happen' in Hawaii. We are forever grateful.

Annie Hiller of Project Vision Hawaii, stands with Mikaere shortly after he arrived in Honolulu. Annie ‘made it happen’ in Hawaii. We are forever grateful.

Volunteers in Honolulu pulled together last month to help restore sight to Christmas Islander Mikaere Baraniko and have offered to help another from the island this summer.

Mikaere, who has diabetic retinopathy and who could not be treated on Christmas Island, has now undergone successful surgery thanks to volunteers at Project Vision, Hawaii, The Retina Institute of Hawaii and it’s vitreo -retinal surgeon Dr. Eugene W. Ng, with material and supplies donated by Surgical Eye Expeditions (SEE) in Santa Barbara, California.

Housing and transportation while in Hawaii has been provided Mikaere by PIMA volunteer Nei Rerei Timon and her husband, “who have been a wonderful help to us and the people of Kiribati for many years,” said PIMA president Carlton Smith.

Dr. Eugene Ng, Retina Institute of Hawaii surgeon, stands next to Mikaere just prior to surgery.

Dr. Eugene Ng, Retina Institute of Hawaii surgeon, stands next to Mikaere just prior to surgery.

Later this summer, similar surgery will be done on another blind patient from Christmas Island, Nei Lucy Kofe.

“All of the wonderful specialists who have helped these blind patients were pulled together by our volunteer ophthalmologist Dr. Paul Jorizzo of Medford, Oregon, who has donated his valuable time for cataract surgeries on Christmas Island and continues to be a great help to everyone there,” Smith said.