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Together We Rebuild Lives - Kelvin Kaneoka

I was plagued with back pain for seven years after injuring myself carrying a heavy sculpture. Initially no one on Oahu — not my primary care physician, not orthopedic surgeons, nor a neurologist — was able to accurately diagnose the cause of my pain. My options were powerful pain medications, or to live with it.

I would fall asleep exhausted from the discomfort, only to be woken up a few hours later from the same discomfort. Suffering unbearably was unacceptable, so after a year of research I found that a condition called sacroiliitis (SI) had symptoms that matched mine, and that there was a new, minimally invasive procedure that corrected it.

Few surgeons in Hawaii were experienced in this new procedure, so I was ready to book a consultation in California when I learned that one of the premier neurosurgeons of this procedure was relocating to Maui.

I was one of Dr. Taleghani’s first consultations on Maui last April. After reviewing previous diagnostic tests, he performed the procedure in May.

Surgery started at 8:00 am. By 11:30 am, I was having lunch in the cafeteria, already discharged. By 5:00 pm, I was back in Honolulu. Following a brief recovery, I had no lower back pain for the first time in seven years.

At my age, it takes about a year for the SI joint to fully fuse, but the pain has not returned — I sleep well, and I can travel again. On a recent trip to Japan, I was able to climb the long, steep steps of shrines, which I couldn’t previously.

I can’t tell you how thankful I am that I only had to travel as far as Maui to receive Dr. Taleghani’s specialized care. What he did for me has improved my life tremendously!

- Kelvin Kaneoka


This story and more can be found in the Maui Health Foundation's Annual Report. A digital copy of their Annual Reports are available online on at! The compilation of stories that exude faith, hope, ʻohana, and the recognition of all Maui Health staff as Guardian Angels really make it shine. ⠀