foundersMartin Kelly & Norman Waterhouse

Facing the World was founded by craniofacial surgeons Martin Kelly and Norman Waterhouse in 2002. Both had undertaken numerous volunteering missions overseas with charities such as Médecins Sans Frontières but when Martin met a little girl with a devastating congenital facial deformity in Taliban controlled Afghanistan they realised that some children needed more specialist help. For children like this, there was no prospect of local treatment in primitive conditions and that they would have to access the full range of first world medical facilities. Facing the World was born and Hadisa became our first patient. Martin stated simply that “we have to give something back to the world”.

Sadly in 2008 Martin passed away suddenly, a tragic loss for his family and friends, the charity and the worldwide plastic surgery community. Martin was an exceptionally accomplished surgeon and an internationally renowned leader in the world of facial reconstruction, a constant inspiration for his colleagues. He strove for perfection and his attention to detail and meticulous planning of surgery were the hallmarks of his work. However, more importantly he was an incredibly compassionate human being and he campaigned relentlessly to raise the funds necessary to bring disadvantaged children to the UK for surgery. Our charity is testament to his drive and determination and will forever be one of his many legacies. Tributes to Martin written by those that knew him best feature on our Website and The Guardian and the Independent.

Norman is still very much involved in the charity and served as Chair of the Board of Trustees until 2013. A hugely respected surgeon in his field, Norman was previously the head of the Craniofacial Unit at The Chelsea & Westminster Hospital and is a past president of the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic surgery. He teaches and lectures both nationally and internationally and his experience and knowledge are of great benefit to the charity. His involvement keeps us true to the charity’s original ideals and focussed on trying to provide as much support as we can for children suffering from devastating facial deformities.


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