2019 was set to be a year of excitement as Dr. Kandi Moller and husband Robert Loehr relocated to Gig Harbor to open their new practice—Eye Candy Optical. The couple arrived on June 14, with the office set to open mid-June. But on June 17, the day Kandi went to the new office to get the keys and meet with her landlord and employee, the unthinkable happened.
“My employee said I was complaining of arm pain, but I wouldn’t let her call 911,” says Kandi. “We left to go shopping, then bam! I fell to the ground right outside the door.”
She had suffered a heart attack, but thanks to the quick thinking of those around her, 911 was called, and John Hogan, one of the Uptown partners, started CPR while a bystander coached him. As fate had it, Maureen Pace, owner of CrossFit NXNW, had been dining at GreenHouse Restaurant with a friend and saw the commotion. With years of CPR training, she ran over and took over until the ambulance arrived.
Once Kandi was at Tacoma General, Robert was told to be prepared for the worst. Kandi was unconscious in the cardiac ICU for seven days, then only four days later she was released—ahead of what was expected. “I just had an echocardiogram last week, and my EF (ejection fraction) is 65 with no signs of damage,” smiles Kandi. “In the hospital my EF was 10; normal is 55. I had no blockages of any vessels; they call it takotsubo cardiomyopathy, or stress cardiomyopathy, or broken heart syndrome.”
Though the opening of Eye Candy Optical was delayed as a result, after much anticipation, Kandi and Robert proudly opened the doors to their Gig Harbor office, located in Uptown at 4735 Pt. Fosdick Drive, on August 13, with the Chamber of Commerce Ribbon Cutting held on September 10.
Only opened a few short months, Eye Candy Optical is already making a name for itself in the community. “We treat you like family, which isn’t always a good thing,” jokes Kandi. “We have fun! I will hug you and cry with you. Share your pet photos, as we are animal lovers here (maybe bring Fluffy in?).”
At Eye Candy Optical, they provide much more than eye exams. Their variety of services include: contact lens evaluations and medical exams, diabetes eye care and LASIK co-management (Dr. Kandi had LASIK herself 20 years ago), scanning laser technology, optical coherence tomography (OCT), corneal topography to assist in the management of keratoconus and other corneal disease, and dry eye diagnosis and management. In addition, they offer unique eyewear, and funky frames, with superior quality lenses and coatings, sell contacts including scleral contacts, and provide myopia control and orthokeratology. They use advanced medical equipment like Optos.
Dr. Kandi has been an optometrist for 20 years and was first inspired to pursue the profession at a young age. She was prescribed her first pair of glasses at age 11, followed by contacts at age 16. “I became very nearsighted, before we knew about myopia control and orthokeratology,” she says.
When it comes to what Kandi finds most rewarding about the work she does, she says, “I hate the stock answer of ‘helping people,’ but that’s certainly what I end up doing. And I love helping kids see the board again and see the leaves on the trees.”
Your eye care and eyewear needs should only be entrusted to the best. Dr. Kandi is ready to provide you with exceptional care, a smile, and don’t be surprised if there’s a bit of laughter.
“I look forward to providing the best in eye care to my patients in Gig Harbor, and I couldn’t have asked for a better community in which to offer my services. My unique sense of humor and personality or my gifts to you.
Eye Candy Optical
4735 Pt. Fosdick Drive, Suite 300
Gig Harbor, Washington 98335