EDMOND, Okla. — It was a routine procedure that turned into so much more for Journee Woodard.
The 11-year-old was up for a routine cleaning, when hygienist, Rachel Stroble, noticed something odd about Journee’s pearly whites.
But she wasn’t looking at her teeth… She was looking in her eyes.
“She said you know, Journee’s eyes look yellow,” said Dr. Michael Chandler, Journee’s dentist . “She asked me to take a look, I took a look and said that does look abnormal.”
Dr. Chandler informed Journee’s mom, who took her to a doctor. Little did they know she’d be fighting for her life just days later.
A website, headlined Journee’s Journey, has chronicled the days after the dental visit.
The website explains:
“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 doctor 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.”
The crew took a quick break with KFOR today, to send a recovering 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,” said Chandler. “I’ll be praying for you.”
Journee’s Journey explains that the family is currently waiting for test results on the tumor.
The website also includes a link to donate to the family.