DLN Success Story – Colorado Stroke Survivor Receives Desperately Needed Care

DDS Volunteer Dr. Dawn Wehking and Pat

Pat, 59, lives in Lafayette with his two teenage children. He grew up in Cambodia and was drafted into the army at 13 years old and served in a civil war. Pat was shot during the conflict and he lost his older brother during the war as well.

Pat moved to the US when he was 21 and got a job at a printing company in Boulder where he worked for more than 30 years. In 2007, he survived a severe stroke. After intense rehabilitation, Pat regained his ability to walk and speak clearly but still suffers from dizziness. The dizziness makes him unbalanced and he has not been able to return to work.

In addition, Pat’s oral health was in poor condition. He was missing several teeth and those that remained were loose and decayed. His gums would often bleed and he was in constant pain. With only a small Social Security Disability benefit and rental assistance, Pat struggles to make ends meet. Unfortunately, he could not afford the dental treatment he desperately needed. It seemed he had nowhere to turn for help.

How DDS Helped

Fortunately, Pat was referred to the Donated Dental Services (DDS) program and he was linked with a team of generous volunteers:

• Dr. Dawn Wehking

• Oral Surgeon Dr. Alan Reisman

• Astra Tech

• Zest Dental Solutions

• Peebles Prosthetics, Inc.

“I feel strongly that we have a duty to help those in need, but it isn’t always easy to find those patients. DDS matched our office with someone who was in pain, needed a lot of dentistry, but had no way to afford it. My experience with DDS was very uplifting, I feel super fortunate to have had the opportunity to make a difference in Pat’s life.” —Dr. Dawn Wehking, DDS Volunteer

Colorado Donated Dental Services (DDS) is a program of Dental Lifeline Network, a national humanitarian organization and affiliate of the ADA, providing access to comprehensive dental care for people with disabilities or who are elderly or medically fragile and have no other way to get help. Close to 13,000 patients in Colorado have received treatment from close to 800 volunteers.

Learn more about volunteering or to learn about DDS in your state, visit our state pages.