This story will definitely warm your heart and make you smile!
23-year-old dentistry student Kyle Carl Lapaz shared his journey with his patient, Mommy Rowena, as he brought back her sweet smile after being toothless for 10 years
“I met her from a friend. For the past 10 years, wala po siyang ginagamit na panguya kung ‘di ‘yung gilagidniya. Nakakalungkot mang isipin, Dahil po dun napudpod na po ‘yung gilagid niya and buto niya,” Lapaz told The Philippine STAR during an exclusive interview.
Currently, Lapaz is a fifth-year dentistry student at the University of the East. He started working with Mommy Rowena’s denture in September 2023.
Since they were closely working together, Mommy Rowena shared her experience after being toothless for one decade.
“Sabi niya, every time daw po na magpapapustisosiya, magpapasukat siya, lagi daw po nagkakaaberya. Hirap daw po talaga siyang ngumiti, kumain. At the same time, nawala daw po talaga ‘yung confidence niya when it comes to talking with people kasi nga powala po siyang ipin,” Lapaz recalled.
Lapaz added that he went through different struggles in Mommy Rowena’s dental case.
Said Lapaz, “Sabi ng prof ko, masyado na daw pong mababa ‘yung ridge niya or ‘yung buto niya kaya nahihirapan daw po ako gawan ng pustiso. Ine-explain ko po sa kanya na, ‘Mommy, as much as I want to finish your case po nahihirapan po kasi talaga ako. I-set aside ko muna ‘yung case mo kasi may iba pa po akong patients na gusto i-attend.’ N’ong sinabi ko po ‘yun kay Mommy Wena, nalungkot siya.”
He then tried studying and researching different techniques that would help in making Mommy Rowena’s denture. Even if he was struggling, he was determined to give his patient a brand-new smile.
“There was a time na nakita ako ni Mommy Rowena naumiiyak. Sabi niya, ‘Kyle, next time na lang. Pagod ka na din eh pwede naman ako bumalik bukas para hindika na ma-stress.’ Sobrang bait po talaga ni Mommy Rowena kahit napapansin niyang hirap na hirap ako, iniintindi niya,” he noted.
After three months, Lapaz was able to finish Mommy Rowena’s denture. Describing the feeling, Lapaz said that it was one of the best moments of his life.
“N’ong last day na ibibigay ko na ‘yung pustiso niya, talagang nagdamit siya, nag make-up siya nagulatako. No’ng pinasuot ko na po sa kanya medyomangiyak-ngiyak siya no’ng ngumiti siya,” he said with full smiles.
“Sabi ko, ‘Hala mommy ba’t ka umiiyak?’ Tapos medyo naluha din po ako no’n. Hindi lang po kasi ‘yung ngipin ‘yung nabigay ko po sa kanya eh, nabalikko din po kasi sa kanya ‘yung confidence niya. Kaya sobrang nabilib din po kay Mommy kasi alam ko pong mahirap ‘yung feeling na nakasalalay sa ibang tao’yung confidence mo. Lahat ng iyak, lahat ng problema, lahat po nawala no’ng nakita ko po ‘yungngiti niya,” he added.
Lapaz said that it was his mom, who is also a dentist, that motivated and influenced him to enter the profession.
Looking back, Lapaz stressed that he is thankful for Mommy Rowena, his patient-turned-friend.
“Sobrang saya po ng feeling na habang ginagawa ko po ‘yung clinical requirement ko, I was able to build a relationship with her. It’s really a hard journey. Thank you po Mommy Rowena for staying up with me hanggang matapos ko ‘yung procedure natin. Kahit sobrang tagal po ang dami po naging aberya, hindiniyo po ako iniwan,” he said.