An Edmond family said a dentist saved their daughter's life during a regular cleaning when he noticed something that had nothing to do with her mouth.
Her family said the girl is in the hospital, recovering from surgery.
Journee Woodard's family thought their little girl was healthy until the staff at the dentist's office noticed yellowing in her eyes.
The dentist told the family to see a doctor immediately and it was a good thing they listened.
Journee, 11, went from a dentist's chair to a hospital bed in a matter of days.
“I like the way they're helping me and giving me the right medicine,” Journee said.
The sixth grader is recovering from a 10-hour surgery at Children's Hospital in which doctors removed a mass from her pancreas and liver, took out her gall bladder and rerouted some of her intestines.
“It's been a whirlwind, it's been up and down, a lot of emotion,” said Anna Woodard, Journee's mom. “It's hard seeing her like that,” she added.
Journee was getting her teeth cleaned at Dr. Michael Chandler's office in Edmond when a dental hygienist noticed the whites of her eyes were yellow.
That advice led to the massive surgery.
“I wanted to tell him thank you for noticing or I would have been sick,” Journee told News 9.
“Everybody in the hospital has talked about it, the nurses, the doctors, everyone says, ‘Your dentist, he caught this' and we are going, ‘Yeah, he quite possibly saved her life,'” said Woodard.
Journee's family said she will be in the hospital for several more days.
She started physical therapy Tuesday to strengthen her stomach muscles so she can sit up.
As the family awaits test results on the mass that was removed, Journee's parents said they will certainly be paying more attention to Journee's big beautiful eyes.
“They say they are the windows to the soul, but I think it's more true [sic] than that,” said Woodard. “I think it's the window to their health,” she added.
Journee has three siblings and her parents are struggling since neither of their jobs offers paid time off while they sit at her bedside.
They have no income right now and have created a fund to help with medical expenses and the expenses for their three other children.