Good news is hard to come by these days. There’s a hell of a lot going on in the world that we’d rather not talk about or even acknowledge. But for every bad thing happening, we like to think there’s at least one ounce of positivity waiting around the corner.
Sometimes this comes in the form of a random act of kindness or a teacher who goes above and beyond the call of duty. Other times, it’s a miracle that happens when one dentist makes a life-saving discovery during a 5-year-old patient’s routine cleaning.
This is adorable 5-year-old Hunter Jones.
Like any other kid, Hunter gets regular teeth cleanings at her local dentist office—Stellar Kids Dentistry.
About a year and a half ago, Hunter went in for her routine cleaning with Dr. Harlyn Susarla who noticed several of her Hunter’s teeth were loose.
Since this is a very unusual occurrence for a 4-year-old, Dr. Susarla decided to run a panoramic X-ray which revealed a growing tumor in Hunter’s jaw.
Hunter’s mother Kara was understandably shocked by the news.
“I was freaked out,” Kara Jones said. “I was at the dentist. You don’t – tumor? No.”
According to WTVM, the Jones family went to Seattle Children’s Hospital where a surgeon confirmed Hunter had neuroblastoma—a type of cancer that develops from nerve cells.
“This is such an aggressive disease process. Early recognition and diagnosis is the key, I think, for treatment,” said Dr. Seenu Susarla, a craniofacial surgeon at Seattle Children’s.
The surgeon also happens to be the husband of Dr. Susarla, Hunter’s dentist, whom he credits with finding the tumor so early.
“I’ve always been proud of my wife,” Seenu Susarla said. “She’s certainly a lot smarter than I am, and this is just one more piece of evidence that suggests that.”
Hunter spent a total of 140 days at Seattle Children’s getting treated for multiple tumors and undergoing five rounds of chemo among other procedures.
“We found out she had a tumor in her abdomen,” said Jay Jones, Hunter’s father, “and it spread to her hip as well.”
“We had two tumor removals. We’ve had five rounds of chemo, two stem cell transplants,” Kara Jones said. “We’ve had 12 rounds of radiation, six rounds of immunotherapy.”
But Hunter stayed strong throughout until her cancer finally went into remission.
And her family is eternally grateful to their dentist, Dr. Susarla.
“I’m so thankful for you,” said Kara Jones, Hunter’s mother. “You saved our daughter’s life.”
“The fact that this was something that was found in the dental chair – I’m grateful that I saw this and that she was able to get the care and the treatment that she needed,” Harlyn Susarla said. “Honestly, I probably think about her every day.”
Though she’s out of the woods, Hunter still requires multiple costly medical trials in New York.
Stellar Kids Dentistry has stepped in to help by starting a GoFundMe for the Jones family.
Find more information about Hunter Rose’s story HERE.
h/t WTVM (KOMO/CNN)