The Joy of Life

May 2006

By: Dr. Scott R. Harden

Just last week I had the privilege of meeting a wonderful and inspiring new patient, named Bill. He came down the hall just like everyone else, got into my dental chair just like everyone else, and as I extended my right hand to greet him, I realized Bill was handicapped, but not like everyone else. Bill was missing both of his legs and his right arm. Bill stepped on a land mine in Vietnam and in a flash his life had changed forever. The most amazing part of the visit that day was finding out Bill had arrived at his appointment by himself, but had not taken a taxi. He, in fact, had driven himself to his appointment that day and demonstrated willpower and a zest for the joy of life that clearly inspired me and my entire staff. Bill later took me out side and showed me his specially equipped truck. He opened his door and climbed inside, folded his wheelchair, pulled it up inside the truck, maneuvered across his seat and started the engine. He showed me his specially converted truck that enabled him to fully operate his vehicle with one arm. Bill could even smoke a cigarette at the same time. Bill is one of those special people that stimulates you to reevaluate your own life and be thankful for how much God has blessed you.

Bill had overcome his handicap and allowed me to certainly appreciate and reflect on God’s blessings in my own life. I have been resuscitated back to life after several severe asthma attacks as a very young child. At age four, I emerged from a storm sewer as it flooded with water, responding to my father’s beckoning call. And then within the last decade, I am blessed for having survived cancer not once, but twice. I clearly recall walking into the hospital gift shop, and buying my two-year-old daughter, Brittany, a teddy bear. I remember thinking that bear would symbolize my life to her if I did not survive. God has given me a second chance and the gift of life that permits me to greatly appreciate my wife, my children, and my professional career as a dentist, where I am able to help and enjoy each and every patient that I meet each and every day. I feel as though I cannot begin to give enough back to help others in my life. As a result, I have embarked on a mission in my life by constructing a new dental facility that will provide my patients with a wonderful new concept in dental care that reflects my desire to provide the best dentistry and dental experiences possible today. After fourteen years in Woodstock, Fountain View Family Dentistry shall reemerge next month at Eagle Drive Professional Park. The combined efforts of my family, my wonderful staff, my business partner Tom Chilcote, Rourke and Wyatt Architects, PaceSetters Construction, Atlanta Design Associates in coordination with Atlanta Dental Supply, Punchco Construction Management, Diane West, Wayne Noble, RW Contracting & Design, Lee Norris (Designer), Greg Myers (Fountain Fabrication) and many others have collectively allowed my vision of combining a Family Practice, Cosmetic Center and Dental Spa together to become a wonderful reality. This facility is being created as a tribute to the blessings I have received in my life so that I may better help others.

Life’s experiences moulds us into who we are. The challenges that we face in life can defeat you, or as in Bill’s case, make you stronger and more determined. My appreciation of life and strong determination to help others shall remain as an example to my children, and has taught me that the more you give, the more fulfilling life can be.