Second Suns: Book summary and reviews of Second Suns by David Oliver Relin

Second Suns

Two Doctors and Their Amazing Quest to Restore Sight and Save Lives

by David Oliver Relin

Second Suns by David Oliver Relin
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  • Published in USA  Jun 2013
    432 pages
    Genre: Biographies & Memoirs

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Book Summary

From the co-author of Three Cups of Tea comes the inspiring story of two very different doctors - one from the United States, the other from Nepal - united in a common mission: to rid the world of preventable blindness.
 
In this transporting book, David Oliver Relin shines a light on the work of Geoffrey Tabin and Sanduk Ruit, gifted ophthalmologists who have dedicated their lives to restoring sight to some of the world's most isolated, impoverished people through the Himalayan Cataract Project, an organization they founded in 1995. Tabin was the high-achieving bad boy of Harvard Medical School, an accomplished mountain climber and adrenaline junkie as brilliant as he was unconventional. Ruit grew up in a remote Nepalese village, where he became intimately acquainted with the human costs of inadequate access to health care. Together they found their life's calling: tending to the afflicted people of the Himalayas, a vast mountainous region with an alarmingly high incidence of cataract blindness.
 
Second Suns takes us from improvised plywood operating tables in villages without electricity or plumbing to state-of-the-art surgical centers at major American universities where these two driven men are restoring sight - and hope - to patients from around the world. With their revolutionary, inexpensive style of surgery, Tabin and Ruit have been able to cure tens of thousands - all for about twenty dollars per operation. David Oliver Relin brings the doctors' work to vivid life through poignant portraits of patients helped by the surgery, from old men who cannot walk treacherous mountain trails unaided to cataract-stricken children who have not seen their mothers' faces for years. With the dexterity of a master storyteller, Relin shows the profound emotional and practical impact that these operations have had on patients' lives.
 
Second Suns is the moving, unforgettable story of how two men with a shared dream are changing the world, one pair of eyes at a time.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"This book will leave readers not just in awe of the work Ruit and Tabin do, but also of the possibilities for earth-changing work available to any who are sufficiently determined." - Publishers Weekly

"The tortuous route of two intrepid eye doctors, one Nepalese, one American, in their journey to eradicate preventable blindness in the Himalayas...The author, who evidently became a favorite of the doctors, even assisting in the hospitals, fashions a detailed, heartfelt account of the work of these dedicated pioneers. Doubly moving in light of Relin's own untimely death." - Kirkus

"Even in the space of a single sentence, this book, written by Three Cups of Tea co-author David Oliver Relin, can grab and hold you: "The life expectancy of blind people in the developing world is less than one-third that of people with sight." - Barnes and Noble

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Author Information

David Oliver Relin Author Biography

Photo: davidoliverrelin.com

David Oliver Relin was born on Dec. 12, 1962, in Rochester to Lloyd and Marjorie Relin. His father died when he was young. Mr. Relin graduated from Vassar College in 1985, and was later awarded a fellowship at the Iowa Writers' Workshop.

He was the co-author of Three Cups of Tea, along with Greg Mortenson. Relin was also a contributing editor for Parade and Skiing magazines. He won more than forty national awards for his work as a writer and editor.

He suffered emotionally and financially as basic facts in the Three Cups of Tea were called into question, and died on November 15, 2012. His family, speaking through his agent, said that he "suffered from depression" and took his own life.

Mr Relin had completed a new book on two doctors working to cure cataract-related ...

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