We’ve all seen the horrific photos and heard stories from earthquake ravaged Haiti. Many injuries stemming from the disaster will require years of reconstructive surgery – long after the headlines fade and most people move on to other important things.
Well two plastic surgeons in Dallas are unwilling to forget the event after traveling to the stricken island less than a week after the January 12th quake.
Drs. Alejandra Mitchell and Craig Hobar went to Haiti to help where they could – many “crush” injuries of the approximately 300,000 victims will require skin grafts, facial reconstructive surgery and other procedures to return them to normal.
Dr. Hobar says he’s prepared himself for 20 years for an event like this and is ready for the challenge. In 1991, he formed the Life Enhancement Association for People (LEAP) to help kids in third world countries fix facial and limb deformities. LEAP gave $100,000 to relief organizations immediately after the quake and challenged hundreds of anesthesiologists, surgeons and nurses from the U.S. and Europe to volunteer week-long rotations on the devastated island.
Hobar has since pledged LEAP will have a full-time presence in Haiti.
“Either you say it’s too enormous; there’s no way; get me out of here – or you react like I hope we have: You say there’s too much pain and devastation, and I can’t fix it, but I’ve got to do everything I can to help,” Hobar told the Dallas Morning News.
He also says his faith plays a large role in motivating him to act and staying optimistic that he’s doing all he can to help the victims in Haiti.