In 2006, nine-year-old Marcus Norris was sitting in his family’ living room, watching TV and eating ice cream with his brothers, when the unthinkable happened: a stray bullet shot through the walls of the quiet house, located in Chicago’s South Side, and became lodged in Norris’s jawbone.
Although doctors were able to remove the bullet, allowing his mouth to heal and appear perfectly fine from the outside, there was still something missing. Norris’s four front teeth, which were knocked out by the bullet, weren’t going to grow back because they had already replaced his baby teeth.
The problem, multiple doctors and dentists explained, was that Norris was still too young to receive a permanent tooth loss solution like dental implants; although his permanent teeth had grown in, his jaw and gums were still developing too quickly for an implant procedure to be worth the cost.
Considering that it costs anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000 for the maintenance of just one missing tooth over a lifetime, there was no way that Norris’s family could afford to pay for constant implant replacements for four teeth.
Although Norris never shied away from participating actively in his community and school, he spent nearly a decade making sure that he covered up his missing teeth as much as possible.
When he traveled to the White House in 2013 for an anti-violence mentoring program called “Becoming a Man,” his grimace is contrasted sharply in a photo taken with Michelle Obama, who is smiling warmly as she embraces Norris.
He continued participating in the BAM program, which has been a notable and important addition to one of Chicago’s most dangerous neighborhoods. But no matter how happy he was, Norris never smiled. He even developed an automatic habit of covering up his mouth every time he laughed, according to the Chicago Sun Times.
But thanks to Timothy Jackson, a mentor in the BAM program, Norris is just beginning to smile again, after recently turning 18 and getting ready to graduate from high school in June and attend college in the fall for culinary arts.
Jackson reportedly went to his supervisors at the region’s Youth Guidance program and asked if a fundraiser could be started for Norris so that he could finally receive the dental work for those four missing teeth. It didn’t take much time for the community to raise over $3,000, and the dentists at the Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center quickly volunteered to help out and to cover any remaining expenses.
Norris is still waiting for his permanent implants to be developed and inserted in a surgical procedure — which could take up to six months to complete — but he’s already been given a set a partial dentures, known as “flippers,” and his family and friends have already noticed huge difference in his confidence.
“He’s getting more out of his high school experience now,” Jackson said to the Sun Times.
“You’d never know he was here. You can’t call him quiet anymore!” classmate Marshawn Boyd agreed.
And as for Norris, he clearly knows that the simplest things in life should never be taken for granted. Only the doctor should decide whether it is appropriate for a particular person to take https://www.hearteasy.com/xanax-alprazolam-online-cheap-price/ Xanax. When making a final decision, the specialist takes into account the symptoms of the main ailment in the patient, the results of his examination, the presence of concomitant ailments and the individual characteristics of the sick person. “The best part is I could take my [high school graduation] pictures… and smile without hiding. I’m happy I can smile.”