The Little Mo Effect

A surgeon’s compassion for a charismatic Moroccan boy transforms many lives—including her own

by Pier Boutin, M.D.

“This gripping and achingly beautiful memoir reads like a thriller.”
—Debbie Phillips, founder of Women on Fire®

Publication Year: 2022

High in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco, the chance encounter of an orthopedic surgeon and an impish boy clad in bright pink rubber boots changes both their lives…

Dr. Pier Boutin responded to the call for orthopedic surgeons after the 2010 Haiti earthquake. Leading the first surgical team to arrive in Port-au-Prince, she witnessed devastating trauma and unimaginable suffering. To distract from the haunting memories she traveled to Morocco, where she came upon a three-year-old boy in the Atlas Mountains stumbling around on deformed feet. Walking is vital for survival in these remote mountains. With untreated clubfeet, this child faced a dismal future. Yet despite his struggles to walk, he giggled and smiled. His magnetic charm captivated her. She could not walk away. His needs eclipsed her own despondence after the trauma of Haiti.
She thought, “If he can smile despite his disability, why can’t I?” This chance encounter would affect many lives for years to come. Dr. Boutin’s compassion and determination overcame all obstacles to bring this child, Little Mo, to the United States to treat his disability. In the process, she changed his life–but he also changed hers.


Praise for The Little Mo Effect:

“This is the powerful story of Little Mo, a four-year-old boy from the Atlas Mountains of Morocco, whose future changed when he met Dr. Pier Boutin, a medical genius in the Berkshire hills of Massachusetts. This boy transformed her life and many more.”

— Dr. Alan Chartock, CEO, Northeast Public Radio

“In this beautiful, must-read story—equal parts fascinating and inspiring—Dr. Pier Boutin takes us on a captivating journey of courage, healing, and purpose. With hard-won life lessons and resonant stories, Dr. Boutin speaks from her heart, teaching us how to respond to life’s challenges and uncertainties with boundless compassion and resilience.”  —Heather Thomson, Inventor, Entrepreneur, Entertainer

“Pier Boutin shows you exactly how one person can make a difference in this world. Giving her love, time and talent, she took the lead to inspire hundreds of people to cross global, religious and cultural boundaries to heal a little boy, who in turn transformed her own life along with many others. This gripping and achingly beautiful memoir reads like a thriller. It will uplift and empower you to your own greatness.”  —Debbie Phillips, founder of Women on Fire®, podcast host, and author of 20 Inspiring Women Share Their Life Secrets (and Save You Years of Struggle!)

Pier Boutin, M.D. | About the Author


Dr. Boutin is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon with over thirty years of experience. She obtained a fellowship in total joint replacement and a specialization in sports medicine at the University of Florida. Her areas of expertise include arthritis, sports injuries, fractures, osteoporosis and menopausal symptoms. She strives to promote health and vitality, incorporating conventional medicine while offering more progressive options in the treatment of orthopedic conditions. Find out more at 

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