By Jessica Garcia (story written in Dec. 2014)
John Tkacz of Reno, 66, experienced about 14 severe toothaches before he finally approached Compassion Community Clinic for assistance.
“I’ve gone to a few clinics in town trying to get my teeth out,” he said. “I’d start being 10th in line and 20 minutes later, you’d be 100th.
Yet, walking through CC’s doors, he met friendly faces who immediately gave him the attention he needed – and for a man who also is legally blind, his experience with CC was more than just about alleviating excruciating pain.
“The people there are very efficient and very loving,” he said. “It feels good to be there. The dentists there were great and professional. … They did it with such finesse and knew how to move with just their wrists without using a crowbar.”
Tkacz is legally blind, caused by his job working 10 years for GM as an auto body painter working with DuPont chrome paint, he said. He lost his left eye and has only about 10 to 15 percent vision in his right eye now, but he said he was in the total dark for about five years. He went from having blue eyes to brown. He’s now part of a large class-action lawsuit against GM for using DuPont paint that might have included chemicals responsible for causing injuries such as his blindness to him and others exposed to the paint. He said he receives weekly updates on news of a pending settlement.
Due to his blindness, he’s had to take glaucoma medication, which thins his blood and effectively has made his enamel disappear, thus impacting his dental and general health.
One of his last solid meals, he recalled, was a pastrami sandwich, which broke his teeth. He developed up to about 13 or 14 toothaches that eventually required extraction.
A friend from his church gave him the phone number to call Compassion Community Clinic, so he called to make an appointment.
After having all of his top teeth removed, he’s had to eat softer foods and uses a blender to puree solids into liquids for easy consumption. As a result, he’s lost 75 pounds in the past six months.
“I bought a pair of pants for Christmas that was 6 inches smaller for Christmas than it was six months ago,” he said.
Tkacz said without Compassion’s staff and services, life would be much more challenging.
“One thing I know for sure is that is a perfect title for that clinic – it is compassion extraction,” he said. “I couldn’t believe how much better I felt afterward, even during (the removal). I’m one of those people who are terrified by dentists. … They have made my holidays wonderful.”
Compassion Community Clinic
(Mailing address only)
6015 S. Virginia Street, #E368
Reno, NV 89502
Please call to be added to our waiting list; appointments are 6 to 24-plus months out based on dental need.
Here are some comments to the question:
"What did you like best about CC Clinic?"
- They offered to put my name on the “prayer wall”
to stop smoking.
- Everybody was so friendly.
- The volunteers/staff are lovely
- The compassion
- Once here they were very quick.
- Everything, you guys are amazing.
- Very friendly staff; positive environment.
- How caring all the staff are!
- So friendly and helpful.
- Professional dental staff, kind, hospitable greeters/prayer support. Caring environment.
- That you’re here to help me…caring/loving staff. I thank and appreciate all of you. God does provide.
- People are nice and friendly
- It was a wonderful experience, I am truly grateful and blessed.
- I believe the clinic is excellent, Kathy and the staff are amazing, Dr. Bob did explain the whole procedure excellently. Love the clinic and staff.
- Very friendly and prayer.
- No pain, great dentist and hygienist, both excellent.
- Friendly relaxed atmosphere.
- Welcome, courtesy, compassionate people.
Dental treatment will include fillings, extractions, cleanings and oral health education without discrimination. CC Clinic is open 2 Saturdays and 1 Friday every month. At Compassion Community Clinic, we recognize the dignity of each person as made in the image of God. We provide our services with compassion and work with each patient to best meet his or her needs within our scope of service. While within Compassion Community Clinic, each person will be offered opportunities to learn about Jesus and will be offered prayer. As Compassion Community Clinic does not discriminate, dental treatment will be offered regardless of the person’s response to Jesus Christ.
"Conversation was wonderful, made me so comfortable, got rid of my nervousness."
"They took my pain away."