The 17-year-old teen from Belize was riding in a car with Dr. J Tim Rainey and Cathy White of Refugio in Belize recently.
Demari was referring to all the children she saw firsthand – hundreds of them – served by Rainey and others on their dental mission.
Demari, who has now become a spokesperson, related her story at the Refugio Lions Club noon luncheon on Tuesday, Aug. 6.
Three years ago to the date, Demari was on vacation and visiting her aunt.
She remembers the date well: Aug. 6, 2010.
“My aunty had a wooden house, and she wanted a concrete house (for hurricanes),” Demari said.
So Demari helped her aunt move stuff in the house.
“Her room had a TV,” she said. But the TV had an antenna that had to be moved to get good reception.”
So Demari and her aunt tried to turn the antenna, but that didn’t work. It was thought that if they raised the antenna a bit higher, reception would be better.
But as they attempted to elevate the antenna, it fell on high wires.
“My leg got so burned, I couldn’t move because I was trapped,” she said.
Her aunt, who had died instantly from the electrocution, had fallen on top of her.
Demari called desperately for her sister.
“I didn’t hear anything,” she said.
She lay there for an hour-and-a-half before the electricity was shut off, all the while receiving shock from the high wires.
She was transported to a nearby hospital where she was told nothing could be done for her.
Her left leg was amputated. Then she was flown on an air ambulance to Shriners hospital for burned kids.
“Dad couldn’t go,” she said. The cost of the air ambulance was $19,000.
She added that every Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, she underwent surgeries – skin graphs.
Her index finger on her left hand had to be amputated.
“For one month and four days, I was in ICU,” Demari said. “I started doing therapy. I still had surgeries.”
Demari was in the Ronald McDonald House by November. There, she met the Whites from Refugio.
Cathy and Tom White’s daughter, Emily, had been severely burned in an accident.
“Emily was in an accident not near what Demari when through. Demari helped me with Emily’s experience,” Cathy White said.
She said Demari had told her everything was going to be all right.
Now, Demari says her goal is to go back to the Shriners hospital and help others.
And she wants to attend college.
George White said his wife, Cathy, had returned from a dental mission in the Dominican Republic, and Demari asked why they didn’t do a mission in Belize.
George then got Dr. Rainey to go and from there, they began serving hundreds of children in Belize.
“The progress has been amazing. The (Belize) ministry of health has noticed what we have done,” said Rainey.
He explained that most dentistry finds a solution through extraction, but his method of dentistry is an option where teeth can be saved.
Rainey said his methods would eliminate 80 percent of all future dentistry. He noted that there is little decay after his treatments of teeth.
So far he has succeeded in Refugio, George West and Beeville. He added that Belize will be a proving ground for his methods.
“The next step will be making it available throughout the rest of the world,” he said.
Rainey’s membership in the Texas Institute of Constructive Dentistry, Tom and Cathy White’s International Health Outreach Organization and the Lion’s Club share in promoting the dental mission.
Rainey said donations are needed to send the mission back to Belize.
“It has brought Demari and us together, and the dental mission has grown and grown and grown,” Cathy White said.
“She laid there for an hour-and-a-half. There’s no reason why this child survived. She’s supposed to be here for a reason,” Cathy said.
“God was there with me when I most needed him,” Demari said. “For every thing there is a reason.”
Demari looked over at Cathy and Tom White, saying, “You are the reason. You did so much for me.”
To listen to Demari’s full story, go to kelbradio.com, go to Jody’s page, scroll down and click on the Jody Demari Belize 7192013 mp3 link.