J Lawton Smith Award Recipient

J Lawton Smith was one of the original founders of the COS.  He was globally well known as a neuroophthalmologist who was charismatic in practice and his faith!

The J Lawton Smith Award is given out each year at the COS Annual Meeting to an ophthalmologist who has shown a lifetime commmitment to serving the Lord through their personal practice of excellence in medicine, academic influence, and/or missionary dedication.

Charisma & teaching in the pattern of JLS




Award Year:

His life mission “to be a character with character”

written by Kenny Lao

What comes to my mind as I think about Dr. Brad Farris as the J Lawton Smith Award recipient? 

I think about how much I cherish my mentor, my teacher, and my friend during that tremendous 1-year fellowship.  I miss the whipped cream in a freshly Keurig-brewed cup of breakfast blend, his custom Nike kicks, the gentle sarcasm and soothing mockery “you are killing me” as I’m trying to close the conjunctiva with my non-dominant hand while listening to his eclectic OR playlist with K-pop to opera to Pitbull, the sigh of relief and a slowing of the pulse that follows the liberation of clear fluid from the optic nerve dural sheath, our short trips to a Kitchen-324 gourmet brunch or a savory large bowl of Vietnamese pho noodle soup in his fully-loaded BMW X5 M, staffing Thunder games in hopes KD will catch a finger to the eye and require our much-needed expertise, sharing sauteed Sichuan locusts and rural Chinese turtle soup while watching his dream of a Chinese Eye Institute come to fruition, and watching him fiddle with the latest electronic gadgets while wearing his Friday-only stylish skinny jeans and high-end boots. I will always remember the relentless devotion to his bride, and above all, how he has modeled for us all a life of faith in our Maker.

I’m thankful I could spend a year with Dr. Farris — a man who has successfully fulfilled his life mission — “To be a character with character.”

Dr Kenny Lao, Dr. Brad Farris and Dr. Paul Chen
Dr Brad Farris and Dr. Kenny Lao in China
Dr Bradley Farris teaching in China
Dr Farris’s title given in China

JLS Award Recipients

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