- Dec 18, 2007 9:20 am US/Eastern Chicago School Principal Dies During Root Canal
Georgette Watson, of Skokie, Ill., was pronounced dead at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center just late Monday morning, reports Kristyn Hartman of CBS station WBBM-TV in Chicago. Watson was principal of Brentano Math and Science Academy.
Before dawn, the flag at the school was lowered to half-staff. Black bunting was also placed outside. Some 600 students attend Brentano Math and Science Academy, and both pupils and staff said they will miss a principal who cared deeply about them and their education.
Staff members said she treated them like family.
"She was a great lady - for the kids, for everybody. She just took care of everybody at the school. Those kids are all going to miss her very much," said school janitor Thomas Fontana. "She took care of me like I was her son. I'm the same age, but she just took care of us very well."
"She was aggressively after education for the kids, that's what she was," said another man affiliated with the school. "She was very persistent."
A well-liked educator who spent 25 years at Brentano as a teacher, then as an assistant principal, and ultimately the person in charge, Watson passed away after a visit to a local dental practice.
She appeared to go into cardiac arrest while under some type of sedation during root canal surgery Monday morning. She stopped breathing about 40 minutes into the surgery. Police said personnel in the office tried to revive her before paramedics arrived. She suffered an apparent heart attack, authorities said.
No one answered the door at the dental office Tuesday morning, and a representative at another office declined to comment.
But the dentists, Laurence W. Feldman and Joseph David Feldman, released statement, which read: "Words alone cannot measure the grief and sadness we feel on the sudden loss of Georgette Watson. We, too, are overcome with emotion while recalling past visits where we experienced her wonderful ways and charm. We know how much her family, as well as the Brentano School family, meant to her, and her to them. We hope that they can embrace her loving ways, as we will, as they struggle to face the loss of someone who occupied such a big place in their hearts and lives."
The statement did not address the circumstances of Watson's death.
WBBM-TV has not confirmed who was performing the work, but the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation has placed Lawrence W. Feldman and Joseph David Feldman on probation.
The department Web site lists "substandard dental work and failure to maintain records" as the reasons. The issues are not related to sedation.
The probation is in effect until Sept. 30, 2009. Both dentists have been disciplined for unspecified reasons in the past, the site said.
The Department of Financial and Professional Regulation said the dentists have been complying with the terms of their probation. They also said during a random inspection of one of their offices recently, no problems were found.
On Tuesday, the community of employees, students and parents at Brentano took time to remember a woman who so often took time for them.
"She really cared for us a lot," a pupil said.
Deaths involving sedation at dental practices have been under scrutiny locally since September last year, when Diamond Brownridge, 5, died four days after she was sedated so she could have two cavities filled and two caps placed on her front teeth.
The Brownridge family settled a $1 million lawsuit with Dr. Hicham Riba, the dentist involved in the case. The Department of Professional and Financial Regulation suspended Riba's dentistry license for 18 months.
"She was a great lady - for the kids, for everybody. She just took care of everybody at the school. Those kids are all going to miss her very much," said school janitor Thomas Fontana.
- Chicago Public Schools principal Georgette Watson died while undergoing root canal surgery in a Chicago dental office. (File)
Chicago Public Schools principal Georgette Watson died while undergoing root canal surgery in a Chicago dental office. (File)
- The dental practice i