Va. Beach parents of child who died at dentist raise awareness

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by Karen Hopkins

WVEC.com

Posted on October 24, 2010 at 10:36 PM

Updated Monday, Oct 25 at 9:49 AM

VIRGINIA BEACH-- The family of an 8-year-old girl who died at the dentist is speaking out.

Raven Maria Blanco was a healthy child. But three years ago, she went to see the dentist. Under sedation, something went wrong and Raven died.

"She was a beautiful child. She meant the world to our family," father Mario Blanco said.

The family is creating awareness at a fundraiser in Virginia Beach. Nineteen children have died unexpectedly at the dentist, since 1996.

"There is a problem with in the dental profession with medical preparedness."

Dr. Larry Sangrik teaches dentists nationwide how to prepare. He says many dental offices don't have plans or even supplies to handle emergencies.  "That's why it's important to ask your dentist what are the preparations if a problem should develop."

The Raven Maria Blanco Foundation also works with "Zellies," tooth fairy friendly candy.

"Those are the tools we will use to help parents avoid these situations that are so tragic," Jeanne Walton said.

All money raised goes to help children in need. Raven's father is building an orphanage in South Africa.

"I gave this two-year-old boy a soccer ball. His eyes lit up and I saw Raven's eyes in him."

By giving back to children, the Blanco family feels closer to Raven. With every event, they educate more people.

If you would like to help, visit the Raven Maria Blanco Foundation website: http://www.rmbfinc.org/

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