Health Care Heroes: Dr. Ian Okazaki

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Russell Choriki is forever thankful for the care Dr. Ian Okazaki provided for his wife Viola Sagon-Choriki. In the late 1990's, Viola was diagnosed with breast cancer. She had a doctor who treated her, but didn't seem to have any bedside manner with his patients. When asked about the sores on her body and in her mouth, he just said it wasn't the Chemotherapy and must be something else, not explaining it fully.  That cancer eventually went into remission. In June 2010, Viola was diagnosed with a type of blood cancer. Viola wanted a different doctor and was recommended to Dr. Ian Okazaki.  From the beginning, doctors visits were very very different

"Soothing.  Really.  I mean to me was like, wow like when I was a small kid.  You go to see your doc, I mean that's your doctor before I mean one doctor and that's it."

"When sores showed up in her mouth like before, Dr. Okazaki didn't try to dismiss it; instead he explained it was a side effect of the chemo, and gave her a rinse for it. The rinse worked as well as the explanation in giving her relief."

"Anytime my wife had something, she'd question, he'd either have the answer or he'd find out and it was really good because he went down to our level and explained exactly was it was"

They said there were three traits they loved about him; knowledge, being humble and listening.

"He is the most I think the most humble and honest person and down to earth.  He always looks out for his patients he really did look out for his patients."

Viola passed away in February 2016 but Russell will always be indebted to Dr. Okazaki for the extra time he gave her at the  prognosis of T-cell lyphoma, explaining that the continuous Chemotherapy would give her extra time with her family.  For all of these reasons and more Russell wanted to nominate Dr. Okazaki.

"You know although I was singled out, I would actually like to credit the entire team; as you know when it comes down to cancer and the diagnosis and the treatment; it requires a whole team of experts to get people thru it, there's a lot of anxiety involved and a lot of that anxiety does melt away once you know that there is support behind you and things are being taken care of."

It's truly an example of how a doctor doesn't only treats his patients health problems, but cares for them as well.

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