We recently came across a story out of Oklahoma that demonstrates the skill and keen awareness of dental hygienists.
11-year old Journee Woodard was at her family dentist office for a routine cleaning when a hygienist noticed something strange about the girl overall appearance. After examining her teeth, the hygienist noticed that Journee’s eyes looked abnormally yellow.
The hygienist alerted the dentist, Dr. Michael Chandler, who then immediately informed Journee’s parents. Turns out the young girl was fighting for her life.
Just days later, a website, called Journee’s Journey, chronicled the events that happened after that dental visit.
“Friday she underwent a 9 hour surgery to remove a grapefruit-size tumor. Surgeons performed “Whipple Procedure”, a major operation that removed part of her pancreas, stomach, gall bladder and part of the intestine.”
Dr. Chandler, who’s known Journee for years, says his office is wrapped up in her recovery.
“I didn’t feel like there was anything I could do to help, which is one of the harder things,” said Dr. Chandler. “Journee’s mother has called the office a few times…she’s been very grateful, she’s posted it on social media.”
But the dentist is quick to point out that he and his crew were simply being diligent and doing their job.
“It’s hard to feel like I’m a hero.”
Journee’s Journey explains that the family is currently waiting for test results on the tumor.
We commend Dr. Chandler and his hygiene staff for potentially saving this child’s life.