515 Main Street, Olean, New York 14760
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Olean General Hospital


Dental staff give smiles in multiple ways

Posted on: 12/22/2016

The staff at the Delevan Health and Dental Center gave a recent patient more than one reason to smile this holiday season.

Staff members became close to the patient after multiple visits to complete his denture work. They learned his bicycle was his only means of transportation. Otherwise, he walked, even in poor weather conditions. He worked hard for everything he had. His attitude was always positive despite what life threw at him.

During one dental visit a few weeks ago, Sarah Roof, dental assistant, learned that the patient’s bike had been stolen after he rode it into the woods so he could go hunting. With no phone or transportation, he walked home that night. Days later, he found his bike in a ditch, damaged beyond repair. While it was his third bike to be stolen, he wasn’t angry or bitter. He calmly told Roof “that’s life” and someone must’ve needed the bike more than he did.

Following the appointment, Roof shared the man’s story with David Cappuccio, DDS, and Liz Simons, dental assistant. Without hesitation, the three decided to pitch in and buy him a new bike for Christmas. They ordered a new bike before they left that day and decided to present the gift on his last appointment, when they “delivered his new smile” and his dental work was complete.

It was a cold, snowy day when he arrived for his appointment. Even though he walked, wearing two coats to keep warm, he remained chipper as always, Roof said. Once Dr. Cappuccio was finished with his appointment, the staff gave him his gift.

“The shear excitement, gratitude and surprise on his face was beyond heartwarming,” Roof said. “He was so grateful and he could not understand why we did this,” she said, adding he kept asking Dr. Cappuccio if he could do something in return, as in disbelief that he didn’t need to earn a new bike.

Despite the winter conditions, he rode his bike home that day. “The outcome was nothing but a reminder to all of us that this is what the Christmas spirit is all about,” Roof said. “It is amazing that he came to us because he wanted a new smile in September and he touched us all in a way we will never forget.”

Foothills Medical Group is affiliated with Bradford Regional Medical Center and Olean General Hospital, member hospitals of the Upper Allegheny Health System, and provides primary and specialty care for patients of all ages at offices in southwestern New York and northwestern Pennsylvania.

Pictured, from left, are David Cappuccio, DDS, Liz Simons, dental assistant, and Sarah Roof, dental assistant.

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