News

California dad dies from tooth infection

Posted February 2
Updated February 3

The 26-year-old truck driver left his home in California on Jan. 17 en route to New York.  (Screenshot from NBC News affiliate KCRA 3, Sacramento.) (Deseret Photo)

Vadim Kondratyuk died of a tooth infection while in Utah, according to multiple news reports.

The 26-year-old truck driver left his home in Antelope, California, on Jan. 17 en route to New York, KCRA-3 reported. He stopped in Oklahoma when he noticed his tooth hurt and received some pain medication, according to KCRA-3.

When he made his delivery in New York, he called his brother because the pain was too much to make the long drive home alone. But the pain didn’t stop, according to USA Today, and his brother took him to a hospital in Park City.

“They had him on medication, they tried everything they could,” his wife Nataliya Kondratyuk told The Sacramento Bee. “We prayed for him that day, that night, hoping he was going to survive. But God has his plan, and we had a talk with the doctors and they told us how this all happened. … It was just not healing how it was supposed to. It was just getting worse.”

Doctors said the tooth infection had spread to his lungs and blood. Medical officials provided oxygen and moved him to a bigger hospital in Salt Lake City, USA Today reported.

He died Monday morning with his wife by his side. He leaves behind two daughters, Vanessa, 2, and Maya, 11 months old, according to USA Today.

Vadim and Natalia met when they were 14 years old at church, according to KXTV in Sacramento.

"It's going to be hard with both my kids without a husband,” she told Sacramento's KCRA. “Half of me is just taken away. … I'm really going to miss him. Because he was so good and never did I think this would happen."

Dr. John Luther of Western Dental told The Sacramento Bee infections that go untreated can be deadly. The infection can spread to the bloodstream and affect multiple organs. In fact, Luther cited a study (which you can read about at The New York Times) that found 66 of 61,000 hospital patients died from infection.

“These bacteria break down food products in the mouth on the teeth and produce acids,” Luther said, according to The Sacramento Bee. “Those acids destroy the hard enamel covering of the teeth. Once that enamel is destroyed, those bacteria move into the softer portion of the teeth and ultimately into a nerve chamber, which also contains blood vessels.”

The Kondratyuk family hopes to move on from the tragedy. According to The Sacramento Bee, the family started a GoFundMe page to help move his body back to California for the funeral.

“He was a great husband,” she said. “He had this smile on all the time. We had a great four years together.”

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