In a world of medical television dramas like the now defunct Nip/Tuck and reality shows like Botched, plastic surgery has gotten a bad rap. The often misunderstood medical professionals do much more than Botox, lip and butt injections or help patients pursue physical perfection. Plastic surgeons like Dr. Craig Hobar of HCA’s Medical City Children’s Hospital in Dallas change more than just looks – he transforms lives.

The pediatric plastic and craniofacial surgeon, and man of faith, has used his gift to touch the lives of children in Dallas and all over the world. As founder and medical director of LEAP Global Missions, a non-profit that provides specialized surgical services to those in need, and in partnership with Medical City Children’s Hospital, Dr. Hobar has helped dozens of children whose craniofacial abnormalities were too severe and surgeries too complicated to undergo in their own country.

Among those children is Li Ying, a 16-year-old girl from China, who, according to Dr. Hobar, had
the worst craniofacial cleft he’d ever seen. Ying has been under Dr. Hobar’s care for over a decade. Shunned by her community and unable to attend school due to her appearance, Ying lived a life of isolation until she was brought to Medical City Children’s Hospital through LEAP’s Landmark Program at the age of six.

Guided by his medical training and his spiritual belief, Dr. Hobar has performed four surgeries over 10 years to reconstruct Ying’s face – the first lasted 11 long hours. The fourth and final surgery occurred earlier this fall.

Today, Li Ying enjoys the life of an ordinary teenager.

In a world of airbrushing, filters and Photoshop, Dr. Hobar’s act of service is more than just skin-deep. His kindness, compassionate care, and a 10-year life-altering commitment to a young girl helped give her a fresh start, her first smile and a chance at a healthier, happier life.