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In memoriam Inna Sasim

Inna Vladimirovna Sasim was born and raised in Baranovitsji, a small town southwest of Minsk in the former Sovjet state of Belarus. She passed high school with high marks and studied medicine in Minsk with just as good results. Like her older sister, she specialized in ophthalmology and became a staff-member in Hospital 10 in Minsk. After completing a PhD at the University of Minsk, she developed an interest in orbitology and oculoplastic surgery and went to Utrecht, the Netherlands, for a fellowship with Maarten Mourits. Her dream had been to set up the first orbital center in Belarus, but when she returned to Minsk, the political situation had changed, the head of Hospital 10, who always had supported her, had gone and she had no means to set up an orbital clinic.

She decided to return to the Netherlands to become an ophthalmologist in Holland. In doing so she had to face major challenges: she had to pass numerous examinations and repeat large parts of her medical training. It was Dr. Lopes Cardozo, a pioneer in Dutch private ophthalmic care, who took care of her and offered her a supervised position until she finally could be registered as an independent ophthalmologist. She got a permanent appointment at the Zonnestraal Hospital Hilversum, where in addition to cataract surgery she was involved in oculoplastic surgery. In the meantime, Inna had settled in the lovely woods around Zeist. She often travelled to Belarus to support her mother and other family members. Inna Sasim has been an active member of the ESOPRS, visiting almost any meeting in her time. She wrote a number of papers on Graves’ orbitopathy. Around two years ago she was stricken by a very aggressive form of breast cancer. She fought the disease with all the power and optimistic attitude that were so typical for her, but this time she became no winner. She died in the early morning of April the 25th, 2019, in a hospital in Minsk, just a few weeks after her fifty-fourth anniversary.

Bunnik, 19 September 2019
Maarten Mourits

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