I survived a war. Did you know that? I survived a war where they put bodies into mass graves where there was once a playground. I survived the death of my family, my parents, my brothers and sisters. Then I survived the death of my wife and child when they starved to death in a refugee camp. I survived the loss of my country, of hearing my mother tongue spoken, of knowing what it feels like to have a place to call home. I survived. And I will survive the loss of my legs. If I have to, I'll survive it. Okay? But Derek, there is always a way when things look like there's no way. There's a way to do the impossible, to survive the in survivable. There's always a way. And you, you and I have this in common. We're inspired. In the face of the impossible, we're inspired. So if I can offer one piece of advice to the world's foremost neurosurgeon. Today, if you become frightened, instead become inspired.
Issac to Derek Shepherd

Isaac was a patient who had an inoperable tumor on his spinal cord. Shepherd went against the orders of the Chief and decided to operate.


Isaac came to Derek Shepherd with a set of scans. He said they were for consult. The scans showed a large spinal tumor. After Derek talked to Isaac about the scans for a few minutes, Isaac confessed that the scans were his and he was the one who had the tumor. Despite Derek believing the only way to remove it was by cutting the spinal cord and paralyzing him, Isaac asked Derek to try to remove it. Other doctors had dismissed the pain as other things, so he ran an MRI on himself, which showed the tumor. He'd done a lot of research on neurosurgeons and knew that Derek took the most risks.

Derek got fresh scans and thought about it. Richard Webber told Derek he couldn't operate. However, Derek went behind his back and auditioned the residents to find someone naturally gifted in microsurgery. Jackson Avery won a spot on the OR team. Before his surgery, Isaac told Derek to cut the cord if he needed to, because he could survive the loss of his legs.

Derek took him into surgery, where he opened and spent several hours just looking at the tumor. He spent over 10 hours looking at the spine without making a single cut before finally closing when Richard came in and demanded it.

He told Isaac that there wasn't any way to remove the tumor without risking his life and he wouldn't cut the cord while Isaac still had use of his legs. Isaac insisted that they would try again the next day. Derek said he couldn't try again, but Isaac told him to go home and sleep on it. Derek went home and drew a picture of the tumor on his bedroom wall and talked through it.

The next day, he told Richard he would be cutting the cord to remove the tumor, but he instead started to remove the tumor just by picking a place and starting to cut. He got to a place where he didn't know which vessel fed the cord and which fed the tumor. He decided to come back to it at the end. He got to the end and had to make a cut.

Isaac woke up after surgery and was upset because he could move his toes, thinking it meant that Derek hadn't removed the tumor. Derek informed him that he'd removed the whole tumor and Isaac was going to be okay.



He was married. His wife starved to death while in a refugee camp.


His parents, brothers, and sisters are dead.

His child starved to death while in a refugee camp.


Isaac is very popular among the doctors at Seattle Grace Mercy West Hospital.


Isaac is a radiology tech at Seattle Grace Mercy West Hospital.

Notes and TriviaEdit

  • English is not his first language.