Born in 1983 in Upland, California, Saul Rosenstein describes himself as a “scientist at heart.” He is a graduate of the University of Arizona, with a Magna Cum Laude, as well as the medical school at Midwestern University in Glendale, Arizona.

With an insatiable desire for learning and a passion for eye surgery, Rosenstein, then still a medical student, added a contagious and youthful enthusiasm to the May ’06 Medical Mission in Armenia.  He describes two especially fascinating cases.

In His Own Words…

An 11-year-old boy with a limbal Dermoid came into the AECP Cornea Clinic. A limbal Dermoid is a skin tag on the eye between the iris and the sclera. Besides being cosmetically disfiguring, they also affect vision by creating astigmatism in the eye. Dr. Anna Hovakimyan, Director of the Cornea Clinic, operated to remove the Dermoid under the guidance of Dr. John Hovanesian. The limbal Dermoid was removed leaving a tiny white scar on the iris, which will be eliminated by tattooing the iris in about three months. The following day I was in the clinic talking with Dr. Hovanesian when I felt a tap on my right shoulder. I turned around to see the patient we operated on the day before with outstretched arms.  He gave me a big hug and no interpreter was necessary. I knew exactly what he was trying to say.

On my second day in Armenia, a 30-year-old man came into the Cornea Clinic with severe chemical burns to both of his eyes. Since the injury 10 years ago he has had four unsuccessful surgeries. His left eye was damaged beyond repair; However, his right eye retained some retina function. His only chance for sight was a Keratoprothesis implantation. Dr. Anna Hovakimyan, with Dr. Hovanesian instructing, performed the surgery. The surgery went well, and the next day in the Cornea Clinic the patient was able to see motion. The following day when he returned for a follow-up visit he was in tears. Through an interpreter he told us when he woke up that morning — for the first time in his life — he saw his five-year-old daughter.