TWO WEEKS AGO we showed how Smiles for Life is helping kids in Ghana. It is true that Smiles for Life has no limits.
Living in Abilene, Texas is a source of pride for Dr. Chris Proctor and his family, as well as his dental partner Dr. Richard Gore and the entire staff of Southwest Dental Care of Abilene. Abilene has all the great qualities of a smaller town. If there is anything ever out of reach in Abilene the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex is about 150 miles away. Some might see that distance as an inconvenience, but for those who live in Abilene it is just a part of life.
The Hendrick Hospital
Even though Abilene has less to offer than a big city it still has most everything you need. There is one thing in particular that Chris Proctor is very grateful for in Abilene, a great hospital. The Hendrick Hospital became very important in Chris Proctor’s life one sunny July day in 2004.
Where It All Started
At 25 weeks Chris Proctor’s wife, Sarah, went into premature labor with their twin boys. They had no idea what was happening, being first-time parents. When Sarah arrived at the hospital nearly fully dilated she was told that she would have to deliver her children immediately, and that they didn’t have a very good chance of surviving.
Her first son, Jack, was delivered at 8 am. Soon after his birth Jack was flown to Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth while Sarah stayed in Abilene. The hospital staff worked furiously to delay her delivery of the other twin. Unfortunately, the delay tactics did not work and Sarah had to have an emergency C-section to deliver Noah. The flight crew that took Jack to Fort Worth turned right back around to get Noah.
A Very Difficult First Few Months
Jack and Noah spent their first few months in Cook Children’s, enduring multiple surgeries, infections, and other complications associated with premature birth. After six months, and beating all of the statistics, Jack and Noah were finally able to go home.
Today they are active and healthy 8 ½ year olds. Over the years the Proctor family has kept in touch with the flight crew and medical staff who raced to save the lives of their sons. Chris said, “Sarah and I were always so afraid they would never get to live “normal” lives; now they’re so normal that we worry no one will ever know how much they’ve already overcome!”
For the Southwest Dental Care of Abilene the question of which organization to sponsor for the Smiles for Life fundraiser isn’t a hard one. Each year the staff works hard to build awareness and support for the campaign by wearing their bright green t-shirts, making fliers for local businesses, and even promoting on local TV. In addition, they travel to Hendrick hospital to offer teeth whitening services to nurses and doctors on their lunch break, who probably wouldn’t have time to do it anywhere else.
Awesome Combined Efforts
Together, Southwest Dental Care of Abilene, Hendrick Hospital, The Smiles For Life Foundation and the Children’s Miracle Network (which supports both Hendrick and Cook hospitals) are fighting to save the lives of kids everywhere, including Abilene. When the lives of your children hang in the balance 150 miles is not an acceptable distance. Children’s Miracle Network is the reason people like Chris have access to world-class childcare in their backyard.
And it is because of people like Chris, the Southwest Dental Care of Abilene, and Smiles for Life that the Children’s Miracle Network is able to continue saving children like Jack and Noah in Abilene, Texas.
Is Your Practice Participating In Smiles For Life?
Why does your practice participate in Smiles For Life? Please share your stories with us below so that other practices and participants can be inspired. Or visit our Facebook page and share on our wall!
This post appears here on My Social Practice’s site because each year we’re honored to volunteer our time to help market this worthy cause through social media. This post was researched and written by Becky Levanger. One of our company founders, Jack Hadley, teaches Social Media Marketing to MBA students at Brigham Young University’s Marriott School of Management. Each year he asks some of his students to help with Smiles For Life as part of their class assignments. Becky is one of Jack’s students this semester. For purposes of full disclosure, we just wanted to let you know about the connections. Thanks.