Monday, November 25, 2013

Book: Second Suns: Two Doctors and Their Amazing Quest to Restore Sight and Save Lives

I enjoyed reading about the amazing lives of these 2 doctors - Dr. Geoffrey Tabin (Harvard trained doctor who is the fourth person in the world to complete the seven summits) and Dr. Sanduk Ruit (Top eye surgeon, who came from a humble background). Both doctors are compassionate human beings who brought light to so many poor blind people who have no access to/can't afford medical treatment.

Unfortunately, the author David Oliver Relin committed suicide last year. He did a great job sharing the stories of these 2 doctors.

Below are some quotes taken from the book that resonated with me:


About Dr. Sanduk Ruit motivation to study hard to become a doctor and help many other poor people. Ruit's younger sister who died in her teens due to TB. 3 out of  his 5 siblings died young due to fever, diarrhea and TB.

"A fifty percent survival rate. Unacceptable, unacceptable, unacceptable. The more I (Dr Ruit) thought about it, the more I realized Yang La didn't have to die. None of my brothers and sisters had to die. They died because resources the rest of the world had were not available to us. And after a month or so of spinning around with my thoughts, suddenly I saw the path I had to follow. It was straight and clear. I realized I had to become a doctor. I had to become someone who could go out and get those resources. I had been working hard, but I had to work harder. Real Study began after that"


Tabin said "my heros weren't the people who asked "Why?". They were the ones who asked "Why not?".


Dr Geoff Tabin, at the peak of his climbing career, became the 4th person ever to complete Seven Summits. The comedown from such a monumental achievement can be disorientating, even depressing.... Tabin kept picturing the ecstatic face of the no-longer-blind sherpa woman and realized he wanted to help others like her more than he wanted to climb any mountain.... he aims for an achievement not of an individual nature, but of a more universal, more meaningful sort."

Tabin did have time to refine his priorities. None, he realized, ranked higher than to alleviate suffering


Dr Ruit encounter with His Holiness the Dalai Lama

"But you humble me, Dr Ruit", the Dalai Lama said. "You humble me with your compassion. I am just a simple Buddhist monk. I often wish I had some technical skills, so I could be of greater use."


A quote from Lao-Tzu

"Fill your bowl to the brim and it will spill.
Keep sharpening your knife and it will blunt.
Chase after money and your heart will never unclench.
Care about other people's approval and you will be their prisoner.
Do your work, then step back. The only path to serenity"


These 2 gentlemen certainly inspired me by their compassion and sacrifices.
More information on this book:

Certainly, there is a mis-allocation of resources in the world.
Certainly, the world is not fair.
However, we can do our small part to make it better.