MAY 2013

EyeWorld is the official news magazine of the American Society of Cataract & Refractive Surgery.

Issue link: https://digital.eyeworld.org/i/129516

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May 2013 EW IN OTHER NEWS 65 Book shares adventures in mission work by Erin L. Boyle EyeWorld Senior Staff Writer Aisha Simjee, MD A isha Simjee, MD, had 12 corneas in a box. She had hand-carried the cornea transplants, donated by Tissue Banks International, to Armenia. There, she would assist with ophthalmic volunteer work, using the corneas in waiting recipients. After carrying the box throughout the journey, including a stop in Switzerland, she disembarked from the plane. In Armenia, customs officials were confused. She said they were unsure what to do with her and her box of eyes. But the inevitable conclusion seemed to be that they would hold her for some time, putting the eyes in danger of losing their viability. When officials stepped out of the room, leaving her alone with the corneas, Dr. Simjee took action. She ran. "I took the box and ran out of the building and into a taxi," she said in a telephone interview. "I told them, 'Take me to this hospital.' As soon as I reached the hospital— thank God it wasn't too far away from the airport—I gave that box to the hospital administrator, who was an ophthalmologist, and said, 'This is what I brought, hand-carried from the United States, and this has eyes, put it in the refrigerator. And a customs officer is going to follow me.' He was shocked. But he took it and no one followed me. I think they gave up." Dr. Simjee, Orange, Calif., outlines this story, and many others, in her new book, Hope in Sight: One Doctor's Quest to Restore Eyesight and Dignity to the World's Poor. The book shares her story from birth as a Burmese refugee in India in 1944 to more than 25 medical missions around the word. Life story An early traumatic experience inspired Dr. Simjee's interest in ophthalmology. When she was 7 years old, she was diagnosed with a serious eye disease. "Ever since I was a little girl, I wanted to become an eye doctor because I had trachoma," she said in the interview. "I was always thankful that I am not blind. I saw many people in Africa, South America, and Indian reservations blind with trachoma. But I walked out of it. I continued on page 66 Index to Advertisers Abbott Medical Optics (AMO) Gulden Ophthalmics Santen Page: 5 Phone: 714-247-8314 Fax: 714-247-8682 www.amo-inc.com Phone: 215-884-8105 Fax: 215-884-0418 www.gulden ophthalmics.com Phone: 707-254-1750 Fax: 707-254-1755 www.santen.com APACRS Katena Products Phone: 65-63278630 www.apacrs.org Phone: 973-989-1600 Fax: 973-989-8175 www.katena.com Page: 49 Accutome Page: 60 Phone: 610-889-0200 Fax: 610-889-3233 www.accutome.com Alcon Laboratories Inc. Page: Cover 2, 15, 16, 19, 20, 26, 27, 37, and 38 Phone: 800-862-5266 Fax: 800-241-0677 www.alconlabs.com Allergan Page: 23 and 24 Phone: 714-246-4500 Fax: 714-246-4764 www.allergan.com Bausch & Lomb Page: 51 and Cover 3 Phone: 585-338-6536 Fax: 585-338-0898 www.bausch.com Diamatrix Ltd. Page: 46 Page: 62 Page: 14 MicroSurgical Technologies Page: 7 Phone: 888-279-3323 Fax: 425-556-0437 www.microsurgical.com Mobius Therapeutics Page: 41 and 42 Phone: 314-615-6930 Fax: 314-615-6931 www.mobius therapeutics.com New World Medical Page: 56 Phone: 909-466-4304 Fax: 909-466-4305 www.ahmedvalve.com NexTech Page: Cover 4 Phone: 813-425-9200 Fax: 813-425-9292 www.nextech.com Oasis Medical Phone: 281-367-8081 Fax: 281-292-5481 www.diamatrix.com Page: 31 ESCRS Rhein Medical Inc. www.escrs.org Phone: 813-885-5050 Fax: 813-885-9346 www.rheinmedical.com Page: 59 and 63 EyeMD EMR Page: 9 Phone: 877-239-3367 Fax: 239-949-5959 www.eyemdemr.com Dr. Simjee operates on a patient in Ghana. Source: Aisha Simjee, MD Phone: 909-305-5400 Fax: 909-305-9987 www.oasismedical.com Page: 13 Page: 54 Stephens Instruments Page: 35 Phone: 800-354-7848 Fax: 859-259-4926 www.usiol.com ASCRS•ASOA ASCRS/ASOA MediaCenter Page: 47 ASCRS Winter Update 2014 Page: 29 2014 ASCRS/ASOA Book Housing Page: 17 Cornea Society Membership Page: 21 EyeWorld Videos Page: 18 EyeWorld Daily News Page: 32

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