Trips to the dentist may not be everyone’s favorite errand — that is, until excruciating cavities become a problem. Admittedly, probes are no fun, and neither is the price tag they come with. But following Dr. Kenny Wilstead’s good deed for a domestic abuse victim, Dr. David Nguyen decided to shoulder a military vet’s $15,000 bill.
“There was infection in his gum tissue, a lot of cracked teeth everywhere, a lot of crowding, a lot of grinding problems,” described Dr. Nguyen, a dentist at URBN Dental River Oaks in Houston.
Former Staff Sergeant David Tyler Harmon didn’t anticipate a simple toothache to reveal years of decay. To cover the costs, Harmon would’ve had to undergo months of paperwork with the Veterans Administration. Much to his delight, Dr. Nguyen decided to simply waive the charges.
“All veterans are heroes,” said Dr. Nguyen. “They give up so much for this country, and whatever I can do just to help him out a little bit, it’s all worth it to me.”
If that doesn’t put a smile on your face, it might be time for a cleaning!
For many in need of a financial boost, GoFundMe has been a great resource for campaigning. Cops have used it to sponsor a sterling student’s college tuition. A deaf boy has used it to provide hearing aids for other deaf children. For teens at Champlin Park High School, it was instrumental to helping substitute teacher Walter Erickson pay for his wife’s surgery.
“He’s just impacted so many of our lives in amazing ways,” said Katie Blodgett, a senior at Champlin Park. “He’s the kind of substitute teacher where he connects with us more on a personal level and he obviously loves what he does and that makes it more encouraging for us to learn.”
Erickson had been saving up to shoulder his wife’s cataract surgery and dental care, thus choosing not to retire. Initially, students aimed to raise $500 and ended up exceeding their goal by $13,405. Erickson’s wife was pleasantly surprised, to say the least.
“When I told my wife about this last Friday, she said, ‘Who are these girls? What kind of parents do they have that they could be so caring and compassionate?’”
Though the eighty-year-old has no plans to retire anytime soon, the extra cash should come in handy.
There is a rare population of good samaritans willing to provide services for free. Among them are Pizza Hut, which delivered free pizzas to Hurricane Harvey victims, and Merkez restaurant, which offers free meals to the poor. Recently added to the list is Dr. Kenny Wilstead, who fixed a battered woman’s front tooth free of charge.
“I said, ‘Well, I’m not going to wait for your tax returns. That’s next year. Let’s fix this right now,’” Dr. Wilstead recalled.
For nearly two years, Kyleigha Scott had been living with a broken front tooth. She had been assaulted by an ex-boyfriend, who continued to stalk her even after their relationship ended. A wisdom tooth infection prompted Scott to seek help from Wilstead, who insisted on going the whole nine yards.
“That 10 minutes that he took to give me what I thought I lost a long time ago back is the most indescribable, beautiful, joyful emotion,” Scott said. “I wish that I could come up with a new word for how I felt.”
The lucky lady will also receive a $20,000 smile reconstruction from Wilstead at no cost. If Scott isn’t grinning from ear to ear, you can bet I’m doing it for her!