Dr. Rick Hodes, a miracle worker in Ethiopia

Dr. Rick Hodes has a very scary laptop. In fact, before he reveals some of its contents to non-medical people, he warns viewers that what they’ll see may be hard to take.

The grotesque facial tumours, the bodies twisted into almost unimaginable shapes in the photos that fill Hodes’ computer are disturbing, but what’s most unsettling is the thought of the people living with these monstrous deformities.

But the warning the Ethiopia-based American doctor gives regarding his nightmarish photo gallery comes with an addendum: The stories of these tormented lives have happy endings.

For every “before” photo, there’s an “after,” which appear as near miracles.

Hodes, 58, whose work is to receive a financial boost at a fundraising event April 4 in Vancouver, has just forged a partnership with the University of B.C. school of medicine, to improve patient care in Ethiopia, and enhance surgical residents’ training and promote rigorous clinical research there. The UBC international surgery branch will receive a portion of the proceeds from the “An Evening to Bring Back Hope” fundraiser at the Fairmont Hotel (bringbackhope.com), to fund its work with Hodes. More