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Maui boy injured by fireworks hopes to play sports again

Family raising funds for medical expenses and prosthetic fingers

Kden Pu Kahoalii – Remains upbeat after injury

An Upcountry family is hoping to raise $10,000 to cover medical expenses and prosthetic fingers for their 12-year-old son whose hand was severely damaged during a firework accident earlier this month.

On New Year’s Eve, Kden Pu Kahoalii accidentally lit a firework that exploded quicker than he could throw it, damaging three fingers on his left hand. His parents, Kalei and Kahale Kahoalii, said that he’s determined to play football and basketball again.

“The accident is on his left hand and the tips are missing from his middle, pointer and thumb, but it’s healing and I pray it all heals correctly,” mother Kahale Kahoalii said Monday night after her son’s second appointment since the incident, which required around 100 stitches. “He is wanting to get prosthetic fingers.”

While the family was cooking and preparing for dinner, Kahale Kahoalii said all she heard was a “boom and he came running.”

“I put his hand in a ziplock and called 911,” she said.

After being rushed to the emergency room and taking a COVID-19 test, Kden underwent a two-hour surgery around 9:30 p.m. that evening. The doctors notified the family that he might lose his fingers, Kahale Kahoalii said, but they managed to save his ring finger and pinky.

“All that time he still had high spirits,” she said. “I cried heavily in front (of) him and he said ‘Mom it was my fault, it was an accident’ and lifted his right hand to wipe my tears.”

She explained how her 12-year-old was happy that he still had his ring finger so that “he could still get married.”

“By the time we got released it was New Year’s and he wasn’t a fan after the ordeal he had, but he was happy he could go home to his sister and his three brothers,” she said.

She added that they only had “regular fireworks” and weren’t using illegal aerials that night.

She also thanked all the police officers, firefighters, paramedics and the Maui Memorial Medical Center surgeons that “helped Kden throughout this whole ordeal.”

Now the family hopes to raise enough funds to cover medical bills associated with the incident, as well as prosthetic fingers and therapy.

“So you see his love is football and basketball and he was a center and being that his left hand was affected, he said he will be back out there and back on the football field stronger than ever,” his mother said.

Almost two weeks after the accident, Kden’s hand seems to be healing nicely and has more stitches to take out Friday, she said.

To donate, visit the family’s fundraiser via Facebook at www.facebook.com/donate/696594524560340/10225187574060179/ or via Venmo@Kden-Pu.

* Dakota Grossman can be reached at dgrossman@mauinews.com.

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