LARGO, Md. – Health officials, family and friends don't want the tale of a 12-year-old Maryland boy killed by a tooth infection last year to be forgotten.
So they gathered at the school he attended Thursday to announce the Deamonte Driver Dental Project, which will bring a mobile dental office to needy children at elementary schools in Prince George's and Montgomery counties.
Driver died from a tooth infection that spread to his brain in February 2007 after his Medicaid coverage lapsed and his mother could not find a dentist to treat him. Office of Oral Health Director Harry Goodman says Driver's death spurred officials into action.
Project director Dr. Hazell Harper says their goal is to serve about 2,000 students at nine schools in the first school year.
The state has given Prince George's County more than $288,000 to fund the first year of the project. Driver's mother, Alyce, who has just graduated from the dental assistant program at Prince George's Community College, did not speak at the ceremony, but she was moved to tears.