We were in from St. Louis for the recent Wood Bat Tournament in Independence, and a tipped ball shattered the tooth of my son, Zach Levy, the catcher for the Spartans.


As he spit blood and caught his balance, people ran for ice as I ran to see him. The Fike team was up to play next and their coach – Dr. Matt Hagerty, a dentist –  ran to Zach. He said the nerve of the tooth was showing and said for us to get him to someone quickly. I said I was from out of town and asked for directions to the hospital.


He took me to a room at the park, and they calmed me down. The dentist made some calls and said, “I can’t take care of your son because our team is about to go out, but my partner across the street just said he will take you if you want.”


I was very nervous about not knowing these people but felt good with how we had been treated so far, so we went one exit away to Noland Road, walked into Dr. Donald Meiners’ dental office, and they were standing at the door waiting for us. I almost cried to see they stopped what they were doing at the end of the day to stay for complete strangers and rushed Zach right in to the chair.


We had two office workers giving my husband and I water, patting our shoulders to calm us. The doctor, his son (a dentist with the same practice, also named Zach), and the assistant all rushed to examine my son Zach. They never even asked us once about our dental or medical insurance info. As far as they knew, we didn’t have any, they were only concerned with one thing – caring for and fixing my son.


I have never had such wonderful and quick attention from any health-care provider, even when my two kids tore their ACLs. I couldn’t believe how absolutely kind, caring, gentle and professional they were. Long after the care was being provided they asked if we had any insurance, which we do, and even so they were not concerned if we were good for our bill. Wow – I couldn’t believe the dollar value was not a concern at that time.


The doctor called us in the room with Zach as they did all the examining work and explaining our next steps to repair his teeth. He cracked the other front tooth also. The office sent us off with snack for Zach, and set aside time at the end of the day on Friday to continue the repair and bond a new tooth. Unbelievable – the good people at the ballpark, the dentist coach of Fike who set this all up and gave initial care to Zach, then the incrediable kindness and care we received from Dr. Meiners.


We were treated by all as travelers and, everyone pulled together to care for my son so well. People at the park have asked me over and over how Zach, or that catcher with the broken tooth, is doing.  Also, Zach hit the walk-off home run on field 1 just prior to the second doubleheader game at field 2 where he was hurt.


Karen Levy and her family live in St. Peters, Mo.