A Doctor Performs Surgeries for Free

updated 07/26/2010 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 07/26/2010 AT 01:00 AM EDT


Lexington, Ky.

Ah, Sunday-time to fire up the barbecue, watch the game, sack out in the hammock. Unless you're Dr. Andrew Moore, a plastic surgeon whose heart broke every time a patient told him he couldn't afford to have a melanoma removed because he had no insurance. "It was so frustrating," Moore says. "How was I going to take care of them?" He started waiving his fees for some, but Moore wanted to do more. In 2005 he launched Surgery on Sunday (surgeryonsunday.org), a nonprofit group of 325 volunteer surgeons, nurses and medical professionals who perform free gall bladder removals, tonsillectomies and other outpatient procedures in a donated surgical facility. To date, Moore's group has performed about 3,000 surgeries-and has a waiting list of 1,500. Raising funds through grants and donations to cover malpractice insurance and medical supplies, this band of medical Samaritans has changed the lives of people like Michael Weyls, a construction worker who lost his job and lived in pain and terror after being diagnosed with a cancerous lesion. A doctor he knew referred him to Moore's group; Moore performed three surgeries and rebuilt Weyls' nose. "It could've killed me, and Dr. Moore worked a miracle," says Weyls, 52, now cancer-free. "I thank God for this man."


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