Our Person of the Week is local plastic surgeon Dr. Charles Boyd who transforms children's lives

Posted at 8:35 PM, Jun 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-23 20:35:45-04

It takes years in school for a person to become a doctor and years more to become a surgeon.

But the skillful hands of a plastic surgeon are not just to make people turn back the hands of time. They can transform a child's life - as you will see with our Person of the Week Dr. Charles Boyd.

Plastic surgery is a billion dollar industry. People flock to surgeons hoping to look younger.

But tiny lives in Kenya depend on the hands of a plastic surgeon too, in order to stay alive or to not be shunned by those who are supposed to love them.

Dr. Boyd says in some of the remote areas it is seen as bad luck, so if a child is born with a cleft palate, the village may see that child as bad luck and may want the mother to get rid of the child.

Since 2001, Dr. Boyd and a team of doctors travel to Kenya every summer and spend two weeks performing surgeries for free. Dr. Boyd says he and his team average about 100 cleft lips and cleft palates each trip and they operate over a 9 day period with five surgeons.

Dr. Boyd has been fortunate. As a graduate of Harvard's Medical School and the University of Michigan's School of Business, his parents taught him as a young man career accolades and money are not what's most important. Also, it's vital to give back to help others and the more you give the more you receive.

The average family in Kenya only makes a $100.00 a year and this surgery would cost $300.00, so the surgery would be nearly impossible. If these children grow into adulthood without surgery, marriage is often out of the question.

A lot of the children and their parents can't afford the surgeries.

Dr. Boyd also believes a willingness to help others should be passed to the next generation  just as his grandfather, who was a physician, and his great-grandfather, who was a lawyer, passed it on to his loved ones.

This father of five daughters is now passing the torch of compassionate healing to them by letting them see what goes on in Kenya first hand Dr. Boyd says it's an eye opening trip.

He says you quickly learn how fortunate we are here in the country and how material things don't really matter when it comes to real happiness.

Dr. Boyd says the trip is not just for people in the medical field and that they accept non-medical volunteers as well.

He says for him words alone cannot describe the feeling he gets from transforming lives.