Sydney Galleger Update: 17-Year-Old Dies After Routine Wisdom Tooth Surgery

Sadly, the 17-year-old Minnesota girl, who was comatose and left in a fight for her life after routine wisdom tooth surgery, is dead. Sydney Galleger was in the midst of having her teeth extracted when “something went terribly wrong” last week. The teenager fought courageously, but passed away from dental surgical complications. Sydney’s cause of death has not been released, citing a CBS Local news report.

On Monday night, Sydney’s mom, Diane Galleger, shared news of her daughter’s death on the CaringBridge website. A registration and login are required to access the full statement and comments.

“It is with a heavy heart that Steve, Jack and I announce that our precious Sydney left this physical world TODAY to live in eternity with God and Jesus forever. We know her big sister Amanda Morgan Galleger and her cousin David Scott Galleger were there to welcome her with open arms.

We have all been blessed to have been touched by Sydney in one way or another. Her faith was strong, her heart was big, her laughter was infectious and her smile could light up a room. She was a loving daughter, sister, granddaughter.and niece.She loved being the “cool” cousin to her nieces and nephew. She was a loyal and genuine friend to all…

Thank you for all the prayers of support, healing and strength during these last 7 days that has seemed like an eternity. We have certainly felt their presence and they have held us up.”

Sydney’s wisdom teeth surgery was “going well,” according to her mom, when her blood pressure suddenly spiked. At the same time, her pulse rate fell. She then went into cardiac arrest shortly thereafter. The doctor performing the operation immediately started CPR and then called for an ambulance. Sydney was raced to University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital where she was listed in critical condition and placed on life support.

Two days later, Sydney Galleger’s condition worsened. Doctors say her brain began swelling and she had to have an emergency procedure to drain off the fluid build-up, to no avail. She also suffered seizures during this time. At that point, doctors met with her family and provided a grim prognosis: there was nothing more medically they could do to improve her condition.

Dr. Mark Wolff, D.D.S., Ph.D., a professor at New York University College of Dentistry, who has no relation with Sydney and was not involved in her care, said oftentimes, any procedure that requires a person to go under general anesthesia doesn’t come without risk.

“It is a rare event, thank heaven. We like to think of having wisdom teeth out as a casual occurrence, but it can be an extensive surgery, it’s important to remember that. It is surgery and it should be managed judiciously.”

Sydney Galleger’s funeral is scheduled for Saturday at St. Andrew Lutheran Church in Eden Prairie. Visitation (time TBA) is planned for Friday.

[Photo by Jeff J Mitchell / Getty Images]