Category: ‘Patients’

Ronald’s Story

October 10, 2014 Posted by admin

When he was only six weeks old, Ronald was diagnosed with osteogenesis imperfecta, a rare genetic disorder characterized by bones that break easily, often from little or no apparent cause. Growing up, he had many surgeries, all because of his brittle bones.

“He was never able to go to school or do any of the everyday things that most children do,” said Louis, Ronald’s brother. “He has spent much of his time in hospitals, beds, and wheelchairs. He has always been in pain. His bones break easily, sometimes just when turning over in bed.”

Ronald repaired antique clocks for a living. Now 64 years old, Ronald has many broken teeth, caused by his bone disease. His gums have grown over his broken teeth, making it extremely difficult to eat. “Any help would be greatly appreciated and would hopefully help him to get rid of some of his pain,” said Louis.

Thanks to our generous supporters, Donated Dental Services was able to donate extractions and dentures, so that Ronald could finally eat and chew without pain.

“Thank you so much. Nobody else has ever helped me before,” Ronald said.

“It was like winning the lottery”

October 3, 2014 Posted by admin

For disabled adults who cannot afford dental care, living without it often means pain, loss of teeth, and even health problems.

“My few teeth – or I should say lack of them, as most had fallen out – were sore and made it hard to eat,” said Bryant.

“All my front teeth were coming loose,” said Mike.

Kathy was so ashamed of her teeth, she stopped going to family events. “I rarely left the house,” she said.

Chemotherapy had rotted Debbie’s teeth, and her dental infections were traveling to her heart valve. She was afraid that her appearance would frighten her two-year-old grandson.

Access to dental care is the basis for Donated Dental Services. Through a network of more than 500 volunteer dentists, DDS provides dental care at no cost to disabled adults whose lives are shaped by chronic illness and low income.

People who experience DDS tell of a renewed appreciation for good oral health. They are able to chew and eat the foods that they need to stay healthy. And they feel better about themselves.

“Thank you for accepting my mother into the DDS program. My mother has better dental health – and a beautiful smile!” said Shantelle.

“I’m learning how to eat all over again,” said Linda.

“Having always been ashamed of my teeth, your work will affect me psychologically and socially,” said Kathleen.

“I received the best dental services in my entire life,” said Patricia.

“It was like winning the lottery,” said Michael.

A friend and advocate speaks out

September 12, 2014 Posted by admin

Dear MFDH,

I am Scott’s best friend and advocate. About 15 years ago, Scott was hit by a drunk driver and received a traumatic brain injury. Scott was left paralyzed on half his body. He lived with his mother for 10 years, and when she died, he was forced to move to a nursing home. With my help, Scott moved to his own apartment [through a local program].

During those difficult years, Scott received no dental treatment.

It was apparent that Scott had lost teeth from the accident, and all his other teeth were literally rotting inside his mouth. Scott often complained of pain in his mouth. His doctor was concerned that his unhealthy teeth would affect his overall health.

I was absolutely shocked and frustrated that I could not find dental help for my friend. I searched high and low and could not find Scott any help.

Finally, I stumbled upon MFDH.

On Scott’s behalf, I would like to thank the MFDH patient care coordinators for all their help and guidance. We can’t possibly thank Scott’s dentists and their staff enough for all their hard work, donated time, and patience with Scott. Thank you – you are truly amazing people.

I want the word to get out that my friend may have disabilities – but because of MFDH and two very special dentists, my friend can now smile again and live a healthier life.

There are people who desperately need your service, and I hope and pray that Donated Dental Services can grow in staff and find other wonderful dentists willing to give their time to people who truly need their help.

Thank you again from the bottom of my heart.

A New Outlook on Life

September 4, 2014 Posted by admin

HansenKatherine could barely walk a few steps without feeling extremely tired. Struggling with COPD and emphysema, she needed oxygen to survive.

“It was so hard to breathe and I was wasting away,” she said.

The good news: Katherine was accepted into the Johns Hopkins Hospital Lung Transplant Program.

Before she could receive a life-saving double lung transplant, she needed extensive dental treatment to minimize the risk of medical complication.

Disabled with very low income, Katherine had no savings or insurance to pay for dental care.

MFDH’s Donated Dental Services restored Katherine’s dental health. Dr. Chun performed the initial exam and designed her dentures, and Dr. Kroe performed the extractions.

“I feel like a whole new person,” Katherine said of her life today.

As Katherine was recovering from her lung transplant, her husband, Bryant, also disabled with very low income, was diagnosed with stage 4 colorectal cancer, and needed surgery and chemotherapy. He also needed dental treatment.

“My few teeth – or I should say lack of them, as most had fallen out in the last few years – were sore and made it hard to eat much but soft foods,” he said.

Donated Dental Services, along with Myers Family Dentistry, donated dentures so that Bryant could eat the healthy foods he needed to fight off the destructive effects of chemotherapy and cancer.

“Without the services provided by the dentists who give their time through Donated Dental Services, it is possible that my wife and I would not be around to praise this service,” Bryant said. “It has changed both our lives and we have a refreshing new outlook on our lives going forward. Thank you so very much.”

A Reason to Smile

September 3, 2014 Posted by admin

John Warren2This is John. He is 68 years old, and has had no teeth for almost 20 years.

Thanks to the generosity of Donated Dental Services and Dr. Jay Hustead, John has a new reason to smile.

John’s family said that he wears his new dentures “all the time.”

Remembering a beautiful smile

August 20, 2014 Posted by admin

BarbaraThis is Barbara, a DDS patient whose brilliant smile conceals the harsh reality of her medical condition.

Barbara has a brain tumor and cervical and neck fusions, along with other medical conditions, that leave her in unremitting, debilitating pain. Housebound, Barbara is often bedridden for weeks at a time. A “good” day is one where she can get herself out of bed.

On one such good day, her caregiver braided her hair, and she put on makeup and a lovely dress to pose for this picture.

Barbara is determined not to let her disability define who she is. Her willpower shines through her beautiful blue eyes and dazzling new smile.

She is extremely grateful for the Donated Dental Services program. Before DDS, her mouth was full of abscesses and broken pieces of disintegrating teeth, the result of powerful medications and radiation treatments. Her dental care was often interrupted by medical crises such as a broken neck.

But Barbara’s dentists and lab accommodated her every need and saw the case through to completion. She received a full-mouth extraction and full upper and lower dentures. Now Barbara can chew and eat the healthy foods that contribute to her overall improved wellbeing.

Barbara passed away in July 2014.