Teen raising money for mom's dental surgery

Posted: Updated:
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver

PHOENIX -- A Valley teen is trying to help her mother get emergency dental work.

Thirteen-year-old Mercadez Lozano is going to extraordinary lengths in hopes of making her mom smile.
 
Mercadez said her mother has always put family first, so she decided to put pen to paper to try to make a positive change in her mother's life.
 
Mercadez has been writing letters asking for help to give her mother, Jessica, a smile.
 
"I’m just missing pretty much everything that's on top because they are inside the gum," Jessica Lozano said.
 
Lozano said she was in an accident when she was a toddler that dislocated her jaw. After that, her permanent teeth never came in.
 
"These here are baby teeth,” she said. “The ones that are in the gums are my permanent teeth."
 
But the reason Mercadez so badly wants a smile for her mom isn't for cosmetic reasons.
 
"I want her health to get better,” Mercadez said. “Last year, when I saw her, it really took a toll on me."
 
"I woke up, and I couldn't stand,” Lozano said. “I couldn't dress myself. It was just mind-blowing, the condition that I was in."
 
Lozano said it was because an infection was attacking her gums and spreading.
 
"That bacterial infection can go into your bloodstream and eventually can shut down your organs,” she said.
 
Lozano got to the hospital just in time, but to prevent this from happening again, she said she needs surgery.
 
“Open up the gums and completely remove everything that's in there,” Lozano said.
 
The problem is, she can't afford it, and her request for a loan was denied. 
 
When Mercadez realized that, she reached out to several dental surgeons.
 
"Went to the library, typed up all these letters, as much as I could, and then just mailed them out hoping and praying that someone would reach out and they did," Mercadez said.
 
She said the first estimate was $23,000 for the surgery, but once she reached out to other dental surgeons, someone called back saying they can do the surgery for $17,000.
 
Mercadez is now trying to raise money.
 
“Honestly, at this point, it's everything I can hope for. This is the one thing that I can do for my mom that I know will help her and benefit her,” Mercadez said.
 
You can donate here: www.gofundme.com/cy3hzg