While two visits to the dentist office a year is typically plenty for most people, dozens volunteered to come in to a local practice Wednesday.
North Georgia Smiles held a blood drive in honor of Jerry Gibree, a Roswell man injured by a falling tree last week as he cleared debris from his property after a storm.
Gibree is the father of Seth Gibree, one of the two dentists who practice in the south Forsyth office.
According to Seth Gibree, his father is in intensive care at North Fulton Hospital. He said previous blood donors had basically saved his dad’s life, which is why Wednesday’s event meant so much to the family.
“He’s had, from everything I can tell, 35-plus units of blood and blood products,” he said. “If he hadn’t received the blood he did in surgery, most of the doctors thought he wouldn’t have made it out of surgery.”
Despite his extreme blood loss, Gibree said his father remained conscious throughout the ordeal.
“He was a fireman and paramedic when I was young and that training paid off for him,” Gibree said. “He was conscious the whole time and he told everyone what to do even with as much blood as he was losing.”
Gibree said as a result of the accident, his father lost one of his hands and may lose a leg.
“His leg is still iffy at best,” he said.
While the ordeal has been incredibly difficult for Gibree’s family, he said their faith has helped get them through.
“My mom has been reading Isaiah 41:10 a lot,” he said. “It says, ‘Fear not for I am with you. Be not dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you. I will help you. I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.’”
Gibree’s co-workers decided last week to hold the drive as a way to help the family.
“We wanted to do something and this was really about the only thing that we could do at this point,” said Tiffany Baker, an office worker. “We just thought this would be a good way to give back to not just him, but everyone in the community.”
Representatives with Life South brought two blood mobiles out to the event, which ran from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Michael Becker, district community development coordinator with Life South, said the response from the dental practice’s patients and neighbors was remarkable.
“This is very special because it’s a large number in a short order,” Becker said. “We got the call Friday and we were able to shift and dodge quickly to get this set up. Typically what we do is set these up weeks in advance.”
Jennifer Bisig, the other dentist who practices at North Georgia Smiles, said the office staff was hoping for at least 100 people to participate in the blood drive.
That mark probably wasn’t too difficult to hit, Becker said.
“It started out with 30 people signed up and it went to 60 and now we’re around 80,” he said around noon.
Seth Gibree said he was touched by the outpouring of support for his father by patients and his co-workers.
“Dr. Bisig and the rest of the team started [planning] this just five days ago and the turnout we’ve had has been amazing,” he said. “It means a lot.”