Ordinarily, employees at Padbury Periodontics & Implant Dentistry in Jackson, Michigan, wouldn’t check in on a patient who failed to show up for an appointment. But sometimes special situations call for special measures to be taken.
When receptionist Kellie Underwood noticed that an elderly woman who was a long-time patient at the office didn’t show up after confirming her appointment, she immediately felt that something was wrong.
Kellie and her coworker, April Buckles, had called 84-year-old Beverly Newton the day before her dentist appointment to confirm that she still attended to come. She told them that she was. But on Thursday, when Beverly hadn’t shown up 20 minutes after her appointment was supposed to begin, April and Kellie called again and got no answer.
“I just had this feeling—I think we both did—that something wasn’t right that we needed to do something. I’m so glad that we did,” says Kellie.
Luckily, Beverly’s son, Mark Newton, was also a long-time patient at this dentist’s office. Kellie had never met him, but April had had a conversation with him the last time he was in the office about his mom wanting to adopt a dog. April and Kellie decided to call him and tell him they thought his mother might be in need of assistance.
After receiving the call, Mark immediately went to his mother’s house, where he found her unresponsive in her bed. Paramedics determined that Beverly had experienced an episode of dangerously low blood sugar and would have been unlikely to live if the employees at her dentist’s office hadn’t thought to check on her.
Article continues below
Our Featured Programs
See how we’re making a difference for People, Pets, and the Planet and how you can get involved!
“She was pretty close to gone,” Mark says. “If Kellie from Padbury’s hadn’t called me, I probably wouldn’t have called her until Friday, and by then it would’ve been too late.”
Beverly was treated at her home and did not require hospitalization. She called the dentist’s office later that day to apologize for missing her appointment and to reschedule. The next appointment was a special day for Kellie, April, and the Newtons.
“It kind of felt like we already knew each other even though I had never met her before,” says Kelli. “It was just really great to meet her in person, and now I do feel like I have this special connection with her.”
Mark and April both credit the earlier conversation they’d had for saving Beverly’s life. Without it, Kellie and April would likely have been more hesitant to call.
“It’s nice to have that type of relationship with your patients that it’s not just about the money or just about the treatment,” April says. “We get to know them a little bit outside of the office so if something like this happens, maybe we would have a feeling.”
Beverly now owns a dog named Sugar and is back to her old self, much to everyone’s relief. Thanks to the help of some special everyday heroes, she has the chance to continue living this beautiful life.Whizzco