LOUISVILLE, Ky. — They've crafted a career around saving lives, operating on people who've suffered brain tumors, strokes or aneurysms. Their surgeries can be complex, risky, and one of a kind - much like their own story.

Doctors Mahan and Mayshan Ghiassi are neurosurgeons at the Norton Neuroscience Institute. They're also brothers.

"We work really well together," Dr. Mahan Ghiassi said.

"Everyone talks about having fun at work. We have a blast," Dr. Mayshan Ghiassi said.

They're two years apart, yet working in the same profession, at the same hospital, even in the same operating room.

"I skipped a grade between middle school and high school. Mayshan took a year off and did cancer research," Dr. Mahan Ghiassi said.

"When we're working together, it's significantly more efficient than when I'm working by myself or someone I'm not very familiar with. Because he can anticipate the moves I make and I can do the same," Dr. Mahan Ghiassi said.

Ghiassi brothers at an event
WHAS

The biggest move happened in 1988, when the brothers were just 6 and 8-years-old, leaving the only home they'd known. The Ghiassi's were born in Iran, persecuted for their faith. As kids, they weren't even allowed in school.

"We spent a year in a refugee camp in Pakistan," Dr. Mayshan Ghiassi said.

They found freedom in America and made Nashville their home. A photo shows the two of them, side by side, on the first day of medical school.

Mahan and Mayshan Ghiassi
WHAS

"We persevered. We had great parents. They were very supportive. They allowed us to dream big and now we're here. Neurosurgeons," Dr. Mayshan Ghiassi said.

"Going from a situation where you're uneducated to a situation where you can become a specialized neurosurgeon, and alongside your brother who was in the same situation...it's an amazing story of what America stands for," Dr. Mahan Ghiassi said.

Even when they're not in the Operating Room together, they're rarely apart. The Ghiassis share a love of racing and working on cars, though, both are quick to admit, they're better surgeons than mechanics.

MORE:

Contact reporter Brooke Hasch at bhasch@whas11.com. Follow her on Twitter (@WHAS11Hasch) and Facebook.   

Make it easy to keep up-to-date with more stories like this. Download the WHAS11 News app now. For Apple or Android users.