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news News Sunday, September 27, 2020 Sunday, September 27, 2020 8:08 PM - Sunday, September 27, 2020 8:08 PM

An inspiring journey to healing

Kreck's story

An inspiring journey to healing

Kreck epitomizes the amazing stories that come out of Shriners Hospitals for Children — Honolulu each day.

Originally from Chuuk, Kreck first came to the Honolulu Shriners Hospital for surgery in 2008 when he was 5 years old. He was born with a condition that caused both legs to turn toward the left, preventing him from walking or sitting upright.

Doctors only operated on one leg during that first visit. Twelve years later in February 2020, Kreck returned for additional procedures to straighten both legs as well as correct his spine, which included wearing a halo brace and a series of surgeries.

“He keeps asking me if his back is straight now. I took pictures and showed him,” said his cousin Denis, who has been staying with Kreck in the Family Center as his guardian. Denis lives in Guam with his wife and three children, but volunteered to travel to O‘ahu to care for his cousin, as both Kreck’s parents were unable to accompany their son.

For Kreck, the road ahead still has a few additional surgeries to straighten his legs, but the biggest procedures are in the rearview mirror.

Additionally, both he and Denis anticipate remaining in Hawai‘i through 2021 due to the global COVID-19 pandemic and travel restrictions.

The middle of five children, Kreck hopes that when he returns to his island home, he will be able to help his family. The 17-year-old enjoys being active – his favorite activities are swimming in the pool and riding the BikeFit around the hospital campus.

However, his biggest goal before leaving the Honolulu Shriners Hospital was to write his name in English. “He never went to school because his parents didn’t want kids to bully him,” Denis said. “Here, he goes to school with a tutor. Before, he couldn’t write his name; now, he can spell it and write it out.

“The only thing he wanted was to be ‘fixed,’” Denis said. “He’s happy now.”