Saturday, May 14, 2011

Jenny Olenick died in April. Here is a statement sent to us from Jenny’s mother on May 14, 2011

"During the April 17 Celebration of Jenny's life I told the young people present not to worry about having dental procedures because Jenny's death was a freak accident.
That's what I truly thought at the time. But after learning there are at least 8 other children in the nation who have died as a result of dental procedures in US dental offices within the past 1 1/2 years, I no longer see this as a "freak" accident.
I now look at dental office-related deaths as relatively common, and believe these are needless deaths that could have been prevented.

These children did not have to die. And if we wish to honor these childrens' memories, we need to make certain not one more child dies as a result of having a procedure done in a dentist's office".
Cathy Garger, Mother of Jenny Olenick.

17 year old Jenny Olenick dead during oral surgery–April 6, 2011–Freak Accident? Not anymore!
(written Thursday May 12, 2011, prior to receiving the statement from Jenny’s mom.  Blogger was down and was not able to post until today.)

Marriottsville, Maryland

Jennifer Michelle Olenick died April 6, 2010. Jenny went into a coma on March 28, 2011 during a wisdom tooth extraction being performed by Dr. Domenick Coletti.

When the dental community is averaging killing one child a month, it’s not a freak accident!
Answers sought in dental surgery death of Howard County teen
Jennifer-Olenick-April-6-2011_thumb2By Kellie Woodhouse
The state Medical Examiner’s Office is investigating the death of a 17-year-old Marriotts Ridge High School junior, who died last week after complications arose during routine wisdom tooth surgery.

Jennifer “Jenny” Michelle Olenick, of Woodstock, an aspiring professional singer, went to a Columbia oral surgeon on March 28 for a tooth extraction procedure and went into cardiac arrest during surgery, her mother said.

She was taken by ambulance to Howard County General Hospital and then flown to Johns Hopkins Hospital, in Baltimore, where she died 10 days later, on April 6.

Cathy Garger, Olenick’s mother, said her daughter’s sudden death was baffling.

“Her heart tests at Hopkins showed normal functioning of her heart. She was in the best of health,” said Garger, who accompanied her daughter to the surgery with Olenick’s father, John Olenick.

Dr. Domenick Coletti, the Columbia-based oral surgeon who performed the operation with the assistance of an anesthesiologist, said he was “deeply saddened” by Olenick’s death.

“From my standpoint, I certainly believe that the team of medical professionals that were involved in her case worked hard to provide her the best medical care,” said Coletti, who has both a medical and dental license.

Coletti said he, too, wanted to know what went wrong.

“We still continue to attempt to understand why and how this happened,” he said. He declined to comment further.

County health officer Dr. Peter Beilenson said Olenick’s case was “extremely unusual. In the 17 years I’ve been a health officer, I’ve never heard of this happening.”

[ Dr. Beilenson, it may be unusual for your county, but it certainly is NOT unusual these days in our country!  Wake up!!  Head out of ass, please.]

Garger said that oxygen flow to her daughter’s brain was not maintained during the oral surgery.

“Physicians who spoke with the family were curious to know why the brain was deprived of oxygen for so long,” she said. “There was both a physician as well as an anesthesiologist involved, and oxygen levels are supposed to be monitored at all times during surgery.”

At Hopkins, Garger said, a doctor told her that Olenick’s brain was deprived of oxygen for six to 10 minutes.

“We watched her brain function start to deteriorate more and more. First she was blinking a bit. ... Then over the days there was less and less movement,” she said.

Garger said she was unsure if she would pursue a private investigation or legal action. John Olenick was too distraught to talk about the incident, Garger said.

A spokeswoman for the Maryland Office of the Chief Medical Examiner said the office is awaiting test results regarding the investigation.

A John Hopkins spokeswoman declined to comment on Olenick’s death.
‘The sweetest kid’

Friends, family and mentors remembered Olenick, an only child, as a quiet, compassionate and devoted student. She was in multiple choral programs, including the selective statewide chorus Maryland Sings.

She performed in two musicals at Marriotts Ridge and attended a summer vocal program at the prestigious Berklee College of Music, in Boston.

Olenick played the guitar and piano, and was set to begin private voice lessons with a jazz vocalist in May, Garger said.

“She was one of those kids that wanted to do as well as she could and did everything possible to put herself in a good position as a singer,” said Terry Eberhardt, fine arts team leader and choir director at Marriotts Ridge High.
“She was just the sweetest kid, always smiling, always willing to help, always friendly with other kids and making kids feel welcome.”

Eberhardt said that in early 2011, he met with Olenick and her mother to plan for Olenick’s musical future.

“She had been told by several coaches that she’s got what it takes,” Garger said. “I feel devastated to realize that the world... will be deprived of her songs. Her voice was pure and beautiful, just like her heart.”

Olenick was also working toward her Girl Scout Gold Award, the Girl Scouts of America’s highest award. Troop adviser Joyce Ulrich said that while Olenick was shy when she first entered the older Girl Scout troop, a year earlier than usual, she quickly gained confidence and became an integral part of the group.

At a musical service event, Olenick led the troop, Ulrich said.

“She’d step right up, and she’d lead the songs, and it was terrific,” she said, adding that Olenick was also one of her most considerate Girl Scouts. “Jenny always gave me a Christmas card.”

‘Friends across the spectrum’ Marriotts Ridge Principal Pat Saunderson said that Olenick also had a unique ability to befriend fellow students from all walks of life.

“Jenny had made friends across the spectrum,” he said, explaining that doing so is unusual in high school. “Usually kids kind of fall into one group.”

Marriotts Ridge held a moment of silence for Olenick on April 11. The school also made school counselors and the school psychologist available for crisis support.

Fellow Marriotts Ridge High School junior Danielle Desautelle said her friend was generous and kind, and never spoke meanly about other students or teachers.

“She never left anyone out,” Desautelle said. “She was in a bunch of different groups; she was a huge mingler.”

Desautelle said that when she thinks of her friend, a very specific memory comes to mind.

“She had a big, silver heart locket and there was nothing in it. But we always talked about stuff she might put in it — like pictures of her parents or maybe her husband, when she got older, or pictures of her kids,” Desautelle recalled.

Memorial service planned Garger said that since her daughter’s death, she has been overwhelmed with offers of kindness and sympathy.
Teachers and parents from Marriotts Ridge High School have been dropping off meals at her doorstep.

A memorial service and potluck dinner will be held for Olenick Sunday, April 17 from 4 to 7 p.m. at Waverly Mansion, 2300 Waverly Mansion Drive, in Marriottsville. In lieu of flowers, interested parties can send donations to the Marriotts Ridge High School Music Foundation.

Garger said that when the community learned of her daughter’s death, it was shocked.

“No one could believe that the wisdom teeth extraction that she had resulted in a coma,” Garger said. “In this area, most of the students have their wisdom teeth out, so this was unthinkable.”

Ulrich agreed.
“It’s so horrible. What do you say?” Ulrich said. “Who would have thought this?”

Garger said there’s a hard-learned lesson in her daughter’s death.

“Everyone of all ages, you never, ever know when someone’s last words will literally be their last to you,” she said. “We often don’t tell those that we love that we love them, but we learn the hard way.”
Student who died after dental surgery praised at memorial service
By Kevin Rector
(Photo by Nate Pesce)
Apil 18, 2011
Jennifer-Olenick-Memorial-April-2011[2]About 150 people gathered at Waverly Mansion in Marriottsville Sunday to remember the life of a Woodstock teen who died April 6, 10 days after going into cardiac arrest during a routine wisdom tooth surgery.

The memorial service for Jennifer "Jenny" Michelle Olenick, a 17-year-old junior at Marriotts Ridge High School, included singing from two separate school choir groups, of which Olenick was a member.
Olenick's mother, Cathy Garger, said the service was a way to remember her daughter, who aspired to be a professional singer, in a positive light.

"I don't think she would want us to be crying," Garger said.

Tears were abundant, though, especially among the dozens of students present from the school — many of whom shared stories about Olenick during the service.

The circumstances surrounding Olenick's death remain unclear, and are being investigated by the Maryland Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, Garger said.

Olenick went to Dr. Domenick Coletti, a Columbia-based oral surgeon, for the extraction procedure on March 28, and "never woke up," Garger said.
She was in a coma in her last days and was not in pain, her mother said.

In a short speech in which she talked about her daughter's love for animals, humane nature and passion for music, Garger urged those present not to fear surgery because of her daughter's death, which she called a "freak thing that happened."

"I don't want anyone to ever be afraid to go under anesthesia, because like the doctors have said, this was freak," she said.
[ Blogger comment: No, it is NOT freak, Not anymore. It’s all too common these days!]

Short speeches were also made at the three-hour service by Terry Eberhardt, fine arts team leader and choir director at Marriotts Ridge High, and Patrick Saunderson, the school's principal.

Almost everyone who spoke mentioned Olenick's bright smile, and many students noted her kindness, saying she never failed to give a friendly "hello" when passing them in school hallways.

Eberhardt said Olenick was a "great kid" with a "bubbly" personality, who was also an extremely hard worker who pursued everything she did with an eagerness unseen in many high school students.

She had just earned a spot in the Madrigals, the school's most elite singing group, said Eberhardt, who leads the group.

Garger said her daughter was excited about pursuing a singing career.

"It was very interesting raising Jenny," she said, noting her daughter would never let her kill bugs in the house or leave lights on when not in use.

Every night when Olenick was little, her mother would tuck her in and say, "No other child could ever be as special, never ever ever," Garger said.

"Never ever?" Olenick would ask.

"Never ever ever," she'd respond.

"I was really proud to be Jenny's mom," Garger said.

Olenick's father, John Olenick, was present at the service but did not wish to comment for this story.

Joyce Ulrich, leader of Olenick's Girl Scout Troop 1383, whose members worked the service pouring drinks and cleaning off tables, said Olenick was a shy girl who somehow managed to balance everything she did — scouting, school and choir — with great commitment.

Friends of Olenick's also spoke of her positive work ethic and drive.
"Her smile could light up a room, and it was infectious," said Kelly Laynor, a senior at Marriotts Ridge High who was on the cast of the school's recent production of Guys and Dolls with Olenick.

"She always gave 100 percent. She loved performing, and it showed," Laynor said. "We lost someone really special in the fine arts department."

Many students found out about Olenick's death while together on a bus going to a choir competition in Orlando, they said.
"Honestly, it was awful," said Catherine Woodcock, a senior in the Women's Ensemble choir with Olenick. "Everyone was so upset. It was so heavy."

"It was so shocking," said senior Ashley Ko.

"I was angry," said Nicole Malen, also a senior. "I couldn't believe it."
Many students said they have had their own wisdom teeth taken out, and that Olenick's death was not only sad, but scary.

Senior Erika Laux is having her wisdom teeth taken out in a week, she said, and is nervous.

"I'll be fine though," she said. "Like (Olenick's) mom said, it was a freak accident."

Garger, who received people in a line as they arrived at the service, told everyone she feels "lucky" for the 17 years she did have with her daughter, and thanked the community and her daughter's teachers for their support.
Death From Wisdom Teeth Removal
Jonathan Walski - 1996
Ben Shimshock - 1996
Monique Walder - 1997
Javier Villa - 1997
Jonathan Hernandez Barrera - 2002
Sherral Magana - 2005
Rogelio Crespo - 2005
Dasia Washington - 2006
Jessenia Valles - 2006
Diamond Brownridge - 2006
Jenna Bautista - 2007
Raven M. Blanco – 2007
Jacqueline Martinez – 2008
In 2008 – 1 death with an increase of 100% from 2008
Cory Moore - 2009
Maddoux Cordova – 2009
In 2009 – 2 deaths with an increase of another 100%Jacobi Hill - 2010
Dylan Stewart - 2010
David Liddell - 2010
Akasmse Rose Tecumseh – 2010
In 2010 – 4 deaths that’s yet another 100% increaseMarissa Kingery - 2011
Christopher Schutzius - 2011
Jennifer Olenick - 2011
Miciah Bonzani - 2011