Syrian refugee regains eyesight after surgery in Canada

Syrian refugee, Anas Schichmouse, regained his eyesight after undergoing successful surgery at the skilled hands of Canadian ophthalmologist and long-time Orbis Volunteer Faculty, Dr. Simon Holland.

Stricken with a genetic condition that robbed him of his sight, Anas Schichmouse was left in darkness as civil war tore his native Syria - and his entire life - apart. His three sisters managed to flee to Vancouver, but Anas was left alone in a refugee camp in Northern Iraq.

Thankfully, in May of this year, Anas's future took a turn in the right direction when an American benefactor sponsored Anas to come to Canada. There, he ended up in the office of Vancouver-based eye surgeon, Dr. Simon Holland.

After reviewing Anas's case, Dr. Holland determined that immediate surgery was required and didn't hesitate in agreeing to perform the procedure. 

Dr. Simon Holland

Anas’s case is very spe­cial for me, I have a great sym­pa­thy for the folks in Syr­ia, for the ter­ri­ble prob­lems they have had and it’s nice to recon­nect and spe­cial to help a Syr­i­an patient.”

Dr. Holland has a special place in his heart for the people of Syria. In 2011, he traveled to Syria as part of an Orbis Flying Eye Hospital program on the Syria-Iraq border. 

Dr. Simon Holland performs surgery aboard the Flying Eye Hospital in Syria in 2011

Dr. Holland is an Orbis Volunteer Faculty and veteran of more than 100 Flying Eye Hospital programs in every country in which Orbis works. Dr. Holland was also the first Field Medical Director aboard the original Flying Eye Hospital on it’s inaugural trip abroad.  He is currently a Director of Orbis Canada, a practicing surgeon at the Pacific Eye Laser Centre, and Clinical Associate Professor at the University of British Columbia.

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