An Oklahoma dentist may have saved his 11-year-old patient’s life after he noticed what turned out to be a serious tumor during a routine checkup.
Dr. Michael Chandler describes Journee Woodard as a beautiful little girl who was always smiling. She came in for a routine checkup and that’s when the hygienist noticed something odd about the girl’s eyes.
“She said you know, Journee’s eyes look yellow,” Chandler told KFOR 4. "She asked me to take a look, I took a look and said that does look abnormal.”
Chandler suggested to Journee’s mother that she take her daughter for a checkup at a doctor's office, which she did.
A CAT scan and MRI revealed that Journee had a large tumor on her liver and pancreas. She was immediately transferred to the University of Oklahoma Children's Hospital where she underwent surgery.
“Imagine taking your little girl to the dentist on a Monday morning for a routine cleaning, and by Friday, she is fighting for her life,” said Anna Woodard, Journee’s mother.
A fundraising website, headlined "Journee’s Journey," documented the days following the 11-year-old’s dental appointment. It also gave details on her surgery.
“Friday she underwent a 9-hour surgery to remove a grapefruit-sized tumor,” the website explained. “Surgeons performed ‘Whipple Procedure,’ a major operation that removed part of her pancreas, stomach, gall bladder and part of the intestine.”
The website has raised close to $7,000, which Anna and her husband are incredibly grateful for because their jobs do not give them paid time off.
“We are still anxiously awaiting the biopsy results and will update further,” Anna posted on the site, adding that her daughter is in good spirits. “Thank you so much again for everyone’s continued love, prayers, support and amazing generosity.”
Chandler, who has known Journee for years, took the time to send Journee a message.
“You’ve got a lot of people who love you, a lot of people that care for you, we wish you well,” Chandler said. “I’ll be praying for you.”
You can donate to the Woodard family by visiting the Journee’s Journey website.