Second Suns: Two Doctors and Their Amazing Quest to Restore Sight and Save Lives by David Oliver Relin is a real-life account of two ophthalmologists who are working to alleviate blindness in Third World countries. It was published in June 2013.
Mr. Relin, the co-author of a similar book, Three Cups of Tea, tragically committed suicide after the book’s validity was discredited, before this book was published.
The book provides is an easy-to-read narrative of two doctors from two completely separate lives who work together by performing cataract surgery in the Himalayas.
Dr. Sanduk Ruit is a Nepali doctor who pioneered the small-incision cataract surgery using inexpensive (not cheap) lenses. Geoffrey Tabin is an American living on the edge of what is considered acceptable in society. Tabin, at first, left Harvard to go mountain climbing but jointed force with Dr. Ruit.
The author doesn’t present the two doctors as flawless heroes, but as flawed human beings who are doing an extraordinary service to make a difference in a remote part of the world. The doctors founded the Himalayan Cataract Project (HCP) which is still working to this day to “eradicate preventable and curable blindness through high-quality ophthalmic care, education and the establishment of a world-class eye care infrastructure”.
While reading the amazing story of the two doctors, the author also delves into the culture, religion, mountain climbing and landscapes of the Himalayas.
The book is well-written, fast-paced, inspiring and enjoyable touching on an important subject which should be the topic of conversation in many places, but sadly isn’t.