“Support Vadim Kondratyuk’s Family” is the simple headline on a GoFundMe page set up to illicit financial support for the loving wife and two young daughters of a young man whose sudden death is hard to understand. Kondratyuk, a 26-year-old truck driver, complained about a toothache just two weeks before his unexpected death. While traveling across the country from California to New York, he made a stop in Oklahoma to see a dentist about the pain in his mouth. The dentist cleaned his infected tooth, prescribed him antibiotics and, according to his widow Nataliya, he began to feel better just shortly after. Sadly, his story didn’t end there.
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A few days after his visit to the dentist, Kondratyuk’s infection worsened and his mouth began to swell. Too weak to continue driving, he called upon his brother to help him complete the remaining 2,700 miles to return home. On their way back they made an emergency stop at a hospital in Utah where doctors said the infection had spread to his blood and lungs.
“The doctor said, ‘Tonight is the night he’s going to die, because we did everything we can and nothing seems to work.’ It’s just the bacteria and the infection keeps growing to his lungs and they can’t clean it out,” Nataliya told KTXL News.
So, how can this happen? According to New York cosmetic dentist Jason Kasarsky, DDS, the likelihood of this happening is slim, but a tooth infection can definitely pose a serious risk for illness and even, as in this case, death. “When decay breaks through the protective structures of a tooth or the gum tissue and bone surrounding a tooth gets inundated with bacteria, an abscess can begin. In the majority of cases, antibiotic coverage destroys the bacteria and the patient recovers. But left untreated, swelling can obstruct an airway or a massive infection can run throughout the body’s bloodstream,” says Dr. Kasarsky.
Unfortunately for Kondratyuk, by the time he made it to the hospital it was too late to stop the infection from reaching his lungs. Dr. Kasarsky advises to treat every infection seriously and seek professional help at any signs of severe pain and swelling. “Healthy individuals will fight off minor infections. Persistant pain and swelling must be attended to and the patient should seek professional treatment,” recommends the dentist. “DO NOT DELAY is the caveat. When we hear stories like this, our hearts go out to the families. Bad things happen to good people. Take care of your body, it’s an exquisite machine.”
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