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Facing the Future | A woman battles back from domestic violence

Lynda Moore knows the statistics.

An estimated 90,750 domestic violence incidents in King County each year.

Last year alone, 5,644 victims served by the Eastside Domestic Violence Program.

A total of 8,820 Crisis Line calls coming in to the agency.

Moore is one of them.

As she sits in the exam room of plastic surgeon Dr. Philip Young at the Aesthetic Facial Plastic Surgery office in Bellevue, her face is swollen from the first of three surgical procedures she will undergo to fix the physical evidence left over from years of abuse at the hand of an ex-boyfriend. Thought still numb from the anesthesia, Lynda's eyes beam and a smile lights her face.

Through a program called Face To Face and the volunteer work of Dr. Young, Moore has been given the opportunity to restore her outward appearance, completing the final chapter of her new life.

In 1995, Lynda was involved in a dangerous relationship which involved chronic abuse.

"My story is horrendous. I was locked in a basement and beaten," she explained. "He kicked my teeth in, broke both my eye sockets, jaw bone, and my nose. I had to break out a window and escape from the basement. He was very abusive."

Today, she shakes her head as she recalls the past, but is optimistic about the future. Following her escape from her abuser, she found refuge in homeless shelters in Seattle. While staying at the YWCA Angeline's Day Center for Homeless Women she learned about an opportunity to enroll in school. Moore enrolled at Seattle Central College and received straight A's her first quarter while living in a shelter.

She stuck with it and in 2006, she graduated with a BA in Social and Human Services.

"I only planned on going for a couple of years, but then the Washington Women In Need here in Bellevue gave me a wonderful educational scholarship which allowed me to finish and earn a degree. Once I got into class, I began to build my self esteem and confidence in myself and what I could do," she said, adding, "I want to go back and get my Masters at University of Washington one day when I have the money."

She was recently upgraded to a new position working at The Compass Center serving the homeless and low-income individuals in King County.

"I enjoy working with the homeless because I understand where they're coming from," she explained. "I want to help them better themselves."

Drawing on her past life experiences, she started her own small non-profit organization called, Let's Come Together. The organization is scheduled to receive a large grant in April, provided by the Boeing Employee Trust.

In 2005, she was accepted by the Face To Face program to undergo reconstructive surgery to repair her broken eye sockets, nose and scarring caused by the past physical abuse. The program was able to match her with a surgeon for the procedure. The appointment was canceled at last minute and she never received the end result she was hoping for.

Over the years, she forgot about the program until she came across her acceptance letter while cleaning out a desk drawer. She contacted Face To Face once again and this time, they were able to pair her up with a Dr. Young in Bellevue who gladly agreed to donate his time and cost for what will be a three-part series of procedures.

The first procedure involved a fat transfer to her face to bring volume back to her appearance. The procedure involved minimal needle pokes instead of large incisions. For the second procedure, Dr. Young will resurface her face with a laser to get rid of the scars on her forehead, lip and repair a torn earlobe.

For the third surgery, which will be performed at a different facility, she will undergo a rhinoplasty for her nose, allowing her to breath more normally again. The third procedure will need the help of additional medical professionals and will not be covered by Face To Face. To offset the cost, Dr. Young will hold a fundraising event on Feb. 14 to raise the money needed to cover the rhinoplasty procedure.

"The trauma she endured has caused her to become slightly depressed and it caused her to age at a faster rate. I hope with these procedures, I can help to rejuvenate her," Dr. Young said.

Face To Face is a non-profit program conducted under the Educational and Research Foundation for the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. The program is staffed by medical personnel who donate their time and expertise to help patients overcome the physical limitations placed on them by circumstances beyond their control, including deformities at birth, domestic violence, war, natural disasters and acts of terrorism.

Surgeons volunteer their time and services to perform plastic and reconstructive surgery of the face, head, and neck region both nationally and internationally.

Dr. Young has worked for Lifestyle Lift in Seattle for the past two and half years and recently opened his own practice in Bellevue. He has fulfilled two medical missions for Face To Face: one to Vietnam in 2006 and to China in October 2008. As a supporter of the organization, Dr. Young intends to perform three to four pro bono cases per year.

"The smallest change in an individuals facial features can give them such a boost of confidence, it's amazing to witness that time and time again," said Dr. Young, who was awarded the Sir Harold Delf Gillies Award for the Best Basic Science Research Paper by the Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery in 2005 for his published paper on Circles of Prominence.

Dr. Young hopes his work can help those like Lynda have a new outlook on life.

Valentine Party on Feb. 14 from Noon to 1:30 p.m. The party includes free gifts, discounts and treats. Salon Soma will join Dr. Philip Young for the fundraising event benefiting victims of domestic violence.

For more information visit www.DrPhilipYoung.com, 1810 116th Avenue Northeast, Bellevue, 425.990.3223.

Lindsay Larin can be reached at 425.453.4602.

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