Friday, April 6, 2012

A Good Samaritan

The first page of the Peace Weekly had an interview with a man who is both a cosmetic surgeon and a a dentist. Having one such professional license is difficult, having  two is not what you ordinarily see. Dr. Han is one who operates on those with facial deformities who are too poor to receive the necessary help.

He wonders if there is any other nation that judges a person on their outer appearance as much as Korea. When he was in school, he remembers the times his friends made fun of him because of his short stature, which helped him appreciate those with deformed facial features.

He has given new life to 40 sick persons: a sampling includes a  five-year-old child without an ear, a high school girl who was stoned because of her large chin, a woman peddler who didn't have a jaw, and hare-lipped children from Mongolia who were given the ability to smile again. 

While in dental school, he went to Japan and saw cancerous cells being removed from the face of a patient; cosmetic surgery gave the patient back his former face. He always thought the doctor's role was to save life, but this showed him another side of a doctor's work.

Seeing what could be done with cosmetic surgery, he decided to go on for a medical degree.  It took him 13 years of study before receiving the dental and medical degrees. He was ridiculed by many who didn't understand why he didn't just practice dentistry and live easily and well with the money he made. He knew there was more to life than making money;  he decided to go to Germany for studies in cosmetic surgery. He mentions that coming from a small Asian country, he had to endure the cold treatment from many of the doctors there. With his teeth clenched he studied and worked night and day for a year and half to improve his surgical technique.

He still works out of a rented building and hopes that he will be able to reach over 400 free cases before he retires. He's thankful to those who help him with donations, so he can continue his charity work, and gives credit to his father who told him to do good deeds and participate in God's work. He does not feel that he was put on this earth to live the easy life but to help the needy poor who come to him. God will be welcoming, he feels, when it comes time to meet him.

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