LONGMEADOW – Saving sight is something Dr. Andrew Lam does nearly every day.
Lam, a retinal surgeon who lives in Longmeadow, said he witnesses science at work restoring vision and saving vision, but sometimes a person’s loss of sight is irreversible.
Lam chronicles some stories about his work in his new best-selling book, “Saving Sight.” Some of the stories he shares are his stories, offering a true glimpse into the operating room where Lam performs the most delicate of surgeries. While he is proud of his success, Lam’s book also shares his heartbreaks over patients whose vision could not be restored. Lam also shares stories that are not his – those of pioneers in his field.
“I write about some of the greatest discoveries in ophthalmology,” said Lam. “The things we can do now are amazing.”
Lam is especially excited about a new surgery that restores vision to the legally blind who once had sight.
“We can now implant a microchip to regain sight,” said Lam. “A retinal microchip is implanted in the eye and the patient wears glasses with a tiny camera that captures the field of vision and sends that information wirelessly to the microchip.”
Lam is one of few retinal surgeons in the area. A native of Illiniois, he graduated from Yale University where he studied history. He went on to medical school and specialized in retinal surgery.
“I love surgery, I love fixing things, and I love the eye,” said Lam. “I thought this would be a great field, and it is.”
Married to his college sweetheart Christina, the couple moved to Longmeadow when Lam was offered a position with the New England Retina Consultants. They settled in Longmeadow with their four children and loved the community.
Lam is involved in the Center School Council and is a member of the Longmeadow Historical Commission, while his wife is a member of the Mom’s Club and Junior League.
“We are very involved in the community and that was important to us in choosing our home,” said Lam, who moved here five years ago.
Lam wrote “Saving Sight” over a five month period and it was published just over a month ago. It is already a n Amazon best-seller and is also available at Barnes & Noble.
While Lam is excited “Saving Sight” is doing so well, he said it is actually his second written book, it’s just the first to get published. The first one he wrote is set for publication Dec. 7.
“My passion, besides eye surgery, is history,” said Lam. “I had this idea for a fiction book based in history. It’s called ‘Two Sons of China’ and is about an American and a Chinese soldier who form a friendship during World War II.”
The Dec. 7 release date coincides with Pearl Harbor Day.
Lam found an agent for “Two Sons of China,” and while shopping the book to publishers, wrote “Saving Sight” and found a publisher.
Lam said while he believed “Saving Sight” would be of interest to ophthalmologists, many of its readers are people who are interested in Lam’s work.
“People are curious what life is like as a surgeon,” said Lam. “I’m very honest about what happens and what I feel when I’m up against something challenging.”
Two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Richard Wilbur writes: “Dr. Andrew Lam, a distinguished retinal surgeon, has written a wonderfully readable book about the heroic lives of the great inventors in his field. The layman will be carried away by Dr. Lam’s clear, colloquial story-telling, and he will also gain, as I did, a far clearer knowledge of the human eye.”
Lam will discuss “Saving Sight” at Storrs Library July 31 at 6:30 p.m. Learn more about Lam at http://www.AndrewLamMD.com. Proceeds from the books sold at the library event will be donated to the library.