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11-year-old's dentist visit leads to tumor discovery

Journee Woodward was found to have a grapefruit-sized tumor after her dentist pointed out an unusual yellow color in the whites of her eyes.

By Ben Hooper

EDMOND, Okla., Feb. 12 (UPI) -- A trip to the dentist may have saved the life of an 11-year-old Oklahoma girl who was found to have a tumor after a hygienist noticed yellow in her eyes.

Dr. Michael Chandler said his hygienist, Rachel Stroble, noticed something odd about patient Journee Woodard's eyes during a recent visit to his Edmond office.

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"She said you know, Journee's eyes look yellow," Chandler told KFOR-TV. "She asked me to take a look, I took a look and said that does look abnormal."

Chandler told the girl's mother, Anna Woodard, who took Journee to a hospital, where she was found to have a grapefruit-sized tumor on her liver and pancreas.

Anna Woodard set up a YouCaring page dubbed "Journee's Journey."

"Surgeons performed a 'Whipple Procedure,' a major operation that removed part of her pancreas, stomach, gall bladder and part of the intestine," Anna Woodward wrote on the site.

Woodard said doctors determined the tumor was non-cancerous and Journee was expected to be released from the hospital Tuesday.

"Everybody in the hospital has talked about it, the nurses, the doctors, everyone says, 'Your dentist, he caught this' and we are going, 'Yeah, he quite possibly saved her life,'" Woodard told KWTV.

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Chandler said he and his staff are keeping tabs on the girl's recovery.

"I didn't feel like there was anything I could do to help, which is one of the harder things," Chandler said. "Journee's mother has called the office a few times ... she's been very grateful, she's posted it on social media."

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