Heroes of Orbis: Xiao Ying

Xiao Ying has been a nurse since 1999. After 5 years at the Wuhan Aier Eye Hospital in China, Xiao was selected to attend an Orbis training program. She enjoyed her experience so much that she returned the next year to volunteer for Orbis—ultimately inspiring her to join the Flying Eye Hospital team as a staff nurse. The rest is history!

Xiao Ying has been a staff nurse on the Flying Eye Hospital since 2010.

From a young age, Xiao Ying Liu knew she wanted to be a nurse. Growing up in a small village in Wuhan, China, she saw her grandmother’s chronic health issues worsen due to a lack of access to healthcare.

Xiao Ying


I believe that all human beings should have the right to health­care, regard­less of race, reli­gion, or finan­cial sta­tus. This thought helped to draw me clos­er towards a pro­fes­sion­al career as a nurse.”

Determined to improve health outcomes for those around her, Xiao began her career looking after patients suffering from ear, nose, and eye problems—but her belief that sight is one of the most important aspects of anyone’s life eventually brought her to specialize in ophthalmic nursing at Wuhan Aier Eye Hospital.

An Orbis training program at Wuhan Aier Eye Hospital was Xiao's first contact with Orbis, but it wouldn't be her last! After training with Orbis for two weeks, Xiao applied for an English Nursing License program in Saudi Arabia, prompting her to study English every night to pass her exam so she could fulfil her dream of working on the Flying Eye Hospital. Of course, Xiao passed with flying colors and became a registered nurse, taking a position at an operating room in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

At the end of her two years in Riyadh, Xiao applied to be a staff nurse on the Flying Eye Hospital. She was invited to join a trial program with Orbis in Jakarta, Indonesia in 2010—and following a very successful trial, she participated in her first official Orbis program in Danang, Vietnam.

Flying Eye Hospital nurses Xiao Ying and Angela Purcell enjoy their lunch break on program in Trujillo, Peru, in 2015.

Nursing Around the World

From Ghana to Chile, Peru to Barbados, Xiao Ying has traveled around the world on the Flying Eye Hospital. She wears many hats during Orbis programs, but her main role is to plan, manage, and execute the teaching and training of local nursing teams.

Xiao Ying


Orbis is well known for​“teach­ing a man to fish”— focus­ing more on the teach­ing rather than the quan­ti­ty of surg­eries done in a day. There is not a day that goes by with­out me feel­ing for­tu­nate enough to be work­ing for Orbis and feel­ing that, with each day, there is always some­thing new for me to learn, no mat­ter how much I may think I already know.”

Slideshow: Nurse Xiao Ying through the years

Nursing During Covid-19

Despite being on lockdown in her village in China, Xiao Ying continued to teach and train nurses around the world during the pandemic.

As an infection control expert, Xiao's skillset proved life-saving during the deadly pandemic. To aid her fellow international nurses, Xiao and her colleagues wrote an article on infection control to help nurses keep their patients and themselves safe from COVID-19.

Pivoting to virtual training, Xiao took the lead on the Virtual Flying Eye Hospital program in India, allowing nurses to get the crucial training they needed to fight COVID-19.

Dedicated nurses like Xiao Ying showed us in 2020 that – thanks to our legacy of innovation and the dedication of our amazing team – we could keep our mission in flight during the pandemic.

Xiao Ying


I am very hap­py we can still deliv­er world-class train­ing through our Cyber­sight plat­form, and I am pleased to say that I was able to lead the India vir­tu­al Fly­ing Eye Hos­pi­tal project. I did wor­ry a lit­tle that issues with the inter­net or Wi-Fi net­works would put a damper on the project as from my expe­ri­ence from work­ing from home that some­times can hap­pen; how­ev­er, I was very relieved that all went excellently!”

Thank You, Xiao

Thank you so much for your hard work year round. From your dedication to treating patients and training nurses, to your ability to quickly pivot to virtual learning during the pandemic, we appreciate everything you do.

Nurse Xiao Ying is surely an Orbis hero!

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