The earthquake in Haiti has left many people injured and deformed. Many of the victims require complex reconstructive surgical procedures. World wide assistance has been offered but the problem seems to be overwhelming. Dr. Craig Hobar, of the Dallas Plastic Surgery Institute, told the Dallas Morning News, “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 do to help.” And he is truly doing everything that he can.
Dr. Hobar has steeped away from his practice in order to organize assistance for Haiti. He was approached to organize medical teams and logistics for specialists who wanted to help Haiti. By the fourth day after the quake Hobar was on the ground in Haiti along with two colleagues. This group performed around the clock amputations and trauma surgeries for three days. Hobar then returned to Texas to organize the help.
In 1991 Hobar had started a not-for-profit organization called Life Enhancement Association for People (LEAP). This organization performed medical missions around the world to help fix children’s facial and limb deformities, with annual medical missions. He said of the countries that they help, “For many of these countries we have become the team of last hope.”
Now LEAP has come to Haiti’s aid. The organization has donated over $100,000 and has brought together volunteers to mount a long-term presence in Haiti. Hundreds of surgeons and other medical personnel from as far away as Germany and Turkey have volunteered. The personnel are on week long rotations to provide the medical care needed, especially post operation treatment. Donors were also generously available when needed. Some business men even offered their private jets for transporting teams to Haiti.
In the midst of the relief effort Dr. Hobar was happy and depressed at the same time. He was happy to be helping where he was needed and sad to see the devastation surrounding the people of Haiti. A hand surgeon by the name of Dr. John Elfar summed it up well when he said, “You can’t do this work too long. It’ll break your heart. Still, it’s not very often you feel like you’ve gone to the right place and done the