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Faced with potential blindness because of a recurring detached retina, James Moore makes a last attempt to save the sight in his right eye. Hoping for a miracle, he travels from Austin to Memphis to meet with eye specialist, Steve Charles, a physician whose inventions of machines, tools, and techniques have been transformative in the field of retinal surgery, and who has performed more vitreoretinal procedures than anyone in history. As he struggles to see, Moore comes to realize that while no doctor has perhaps had a broader impact on vision and ophthalmological surgery, no one outside the field really knows who Charles is or what he’s accomplished. Moore decides to change that.
New York Times best-selling author of Bush’s Brain and Emmy award-winning television news correspondent James Moore documents his own journey in the struggle to save his eyesight, while also weaving in a detailed account of the doctor’s profound accomplishments and their global impact on people. Part biography, part autobiography, Give Back the Light is a dual-track narrative that highlights the challenges and achievements of modern health care.
This is a book about a physician who has been intimately involved in saving the vision of millions of people through the spread of his technology and surgical techniques. Dr. Charles is an historical and yet mostly unknown figure who has lived a remarkable life of great importance. In the telling, Moore helps readers view the wider world and their contributions to it in different light, and offers a prosaic understanding of the sheer joy of just seeing.
“Retina surgeons are the crème de la crème in the realm of ophthalmology. Steve Charles stands right at the top of that pyramid. Moore does a masterful job of combining his compelling personal struggle as a patient with clear explanations of eye structures, ophthalmic procedures, and the innovative techniques and instruments that Dr. Charles has developed to preserve our precious vision. As someone who has covered the momentous achievements of the retina community for almost two decades, it is a joy to see the accomplishments of this wondrous eye surgeon finally celebrated.”
--Jerry Helzner, News Editor, Retinal Physician Magazine
“James Moore sneaks a comprehensive education into an intimate and inspiring true story of one man’s greatest passion intersecting with another man’s greatest fear. A poignant and compelling journey of discovery about the mysteries of human vision, technology, and the relentlessness of hope.”
--Kristen Tsetsi, author, The Age of the Child
“James Moore has written a truly original book about hope and discovery—the story of one man’s search to save his sight and a remarkable doctor whose gift for invention and skills as a surgeon have helped restore vision to millions. The author writes about astonishing medical procedures with clarity and precision, deeply reported and rich in detail. And he uncovers the little-known history of medical giants in pursuit of the impossible. This is a profound book, both poignant and exhilarating, and readers will come away with the knowledge that Moore has taken them somewhere totally new.”
--Wayne Slater, Writer Emeritus, Dallas Morning News
“Give Back the Light is a tremendous achievement. James C. Moore weaves a wrenching personal account of his struggle to save the sight in his right eye with the history and accomplishments of legendary eye surgeon and innovator, Dr. Steve Charles. The book combines brilliant storytelling and a testament to one of the great minds in eye surgery with questions about where the divide lies between patient and physician responsibility. This book is a mesmerizing dive into the recent history of eye surgery and the journey of one patient.”
--Mary Pauline Lowry, author, Wildfire
“This remarkable book combines Jim Moore’s battle to keep the vision in his right eye with a highly readable explanation of the history and intricacies of eye surgery (proliferative vitreo retinopathy, anyone?). It’s a profile of a modern medical hero: Dr. Steve Charles, who also happens to be an engineer, an ace inventor, and a jet-airplane pilot. It’s easy to be cynical about today’s world. This is a book about an inspirational doctor who has saved the eyesight of thousands, or perhaps millions, of people. It will open your eyes to the beauty, the miracle of seeing.”
--Robert Bryce, author, Smaller Faster Lighter Denser Cheaper: How Innovation Keeps Proving the Catastrophists Wrong
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James Moore is the best selling author of Bush's Brain.
Steve Charles, MD, FACS, FICS is one of the world's leading vitreoretinal surgeons