Remembering A Special Pediatrician

Dear Pamela,

More than 50 years ago, my son Keith was born with a rare disease. It was Dr. Denis Fu who told us the condition was terminal. He had tears in his eyes when he told us. He was just a young, struggling pediatrician, but we knew then he would always be there for our family. Sometimes I would call at 2 or 3 in the morning, and he would say, “Meet me at the office.” Back then, there were no organizations to help families with extreme medical challenges. We had tremendous bills. I paid $20 every month. The Christmas after Keith died, Dr. Fu told us not to send any more money. Our bill was paid in full.

He has been in our hearts ever since. Mahalo, Dr. Fu.

Linda Sakuma

Dear Linda,

Dr. Denis Fu, now retired, remembers your son. “He had a case of biliary atresia, which at that time was difficult to treat because there were no liver transplants or anything else that could be done,” he says. “I treated Keith until I was drafted into the Army and sent to Vietnam. When I returned, I was reunited with the family. I very much appreciate that the Sakumas remember me after all these years.”

Hi Pamela, Mahalo nui loa to the city’s bulky-item pickup crew in my neighborhood. They do an incredibly hard job of picking up real heavy stuff and who knows what else people leave at the curb. For me, they went “above and beyond” their normal duties – something I expect they do often.

I had an old plasma TV that weighed 70-plus pounds in my garage, with no idea how I would get it out to the curb. (Two big teenage neighbor kids carried it for me from inside the house to the garage.) When they came by, I asked one of the crew members if he would help me carry it from my garage to the truck – a distance of about 40 feet. He readily agreed. When we got about halfway to the truck, another crew member saw how I was struggling (at 72, I’m well past my heavy-lifting prime) and ran over to grab my end from me.

There have been several recent stories in the paper and on TV about problems with bulky items sitting out at the curb for long times. Hidden in the headlines is the fact that the problems are because of broken trucks and short staff. From my experience, the guys on the job are working their okoles off, and helping out people like me when they can. They deserve our appreciation and gratitude for what they do and how well they do it.

Ralph Portmore

Dear Ralph,

Lori Kahikina, city Department of Environmental Services director, says it’s nice to get some APPLAUSE.

“Our staff often goes above and beyond what the job calls for, and it’s a breath of fresh air to receive positive feedback from the public. I have passed on your kind words to the appropriate division chief and will make sure the crew that helped you knows their effort and aloha were appreciated. Thank you for taking the time to express your gratitude to our dedicated and caring team.”

Dear Pamela,

This mahalo is long overdue. My friend and I were returning to Kaneohe from Waikiki when she hit a curb turning onto Kaliki Road. The tire immediately went flat. We were able to pull over in front of the Lex Brodie store. Even though they were closed they reopened, changed the tire and sent us on our way. Lex Brodie has won my loyalty.

Pat Dixon

Dear Pat,

Lex Brodie’s Kaneohe assistant manager Zach Cuson says the crew is always ready to help. “Road incidents happen often enough in our area, so we are happy to assist in any way we can, even if we are closed. We will not leave anyone stranded.”