Kyleigha Scott remembers Christmas in 2014 vividly. It was when she says her ex-boyfriend head-butted her for no apparent reason, breaking her front tooth.
The 28-year-old from Marshall, Texas, says it changed her life. She could no longer look at herself in the mirror and forget what happened. She has since left her ex, but her broken tooth was a reminder of the domestic violence.
But on Oct. 12, an act of kindness from one dentist brought her “back to light.” Kenny Wilstead, owner of Marshall Family Dental, fixed Scott’s tooth for free.
“I am learning how to smile all over again. In every single picture my mouth was closed. After [the dentist] fixed my tooth that day, he brought something back someone I thought I lost … I came back to somebody I thought I lost a long time ago,” Scott said.
Scott had initially gone to the dentist to extract an infected tooth. She ended up in the emergency room and was put on antibiotics. She found Wilstead’s dental office through a friend’s recommendation.
“After the extraction he said ‘hold on one second, were going to fix that front tooth for free.’ It was unbelievable” Scott told Global News. “He was really curious as to what happened,” she added.
Scott who works two jobs as a waitress and a cashier couldn’t afford to get her tooth fixed. She told the dentist that she was waiting for her income tax return in the hopes of having enough money.
“I just felt like she’d been through enough and it was about time someone gave her a break in life,” Wilstead said.
The moment Scott saw her new tooth was captured on video, where you can see her crying of joy.
“It’s really hard to explain, there were so many emotions running through my mind and body at that moment … I was just filled with joy and lifted beyond words.”
“I feel like this huge weight is lifted off of me. I can move forward now,” she added.
Scott was with her ex-boyfriend for eight months. She said he showed signs of aggression from the beginning. She says he would call her stupid and he grabbed her a couple of times. Once, she says, he threw her down. But the day he head-butted her was when she decided she had enough.
Scott says her ex tried to find her, but after a while he stopped contacting her. She later found that that he had been killed.
Although his episode in her life is in the past, her message to others is this: if you see any signs of aggression from the beginning, leave your partner immediately.
According to Statistics Canada, approximately every six days, a woman in Canada is killed by her intimate partner. Out of the 83 police-reported intimate partner homicides in 2014, 67 of the victims — over 80 per cent — were women.
On any given night in Canada, roughly 3,400 women and their 2,700 children sleep in shelters to escape abuse.
SOUND OFF: If you faced domestic violence and are willing to share your story to Global News, email [email protected]
— If you or someone you know is facing domestic violence, contact Assaulted Women’s Helpline: it provides anonymous and confidential crisis counselling.
Here are some additional resources for those in need:
Canadian Mental Health Association
Child Welfare League of Canada
Public Health Agency of Canada, Family Violence Prevention Team, Centre for Health Promotion & Family Violence Initiative
Neighbours Friends & Families
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