George County teen all smiles as he returns to school today - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

George County teen all smiles as he returns to school today

OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) -

A George County High teen with Cerebral Palsy will be returning to school Thursday morning.   That's exactly a week after an attack at school that left his hands and face bloodied and bruised.

The story continues to draw an outpouring of compassion from all over the world. And Austin is wearing a big smile on his face now, thanks to an Ocean Springs dentist who was touched by Austin's story.

Fourteen-year-old Austin Stokes had never been so excited about going to the dentist.

"He's very excited about his new tooth. He was readying earlier than I was this morning, so he was rushing me out the door," said Austin's mom Lori Dees.

Austin came to Ocean Springs Thursday to meet a total stranger, Dr. Edward Banas. Banas is an Ocean Springs dentist who wanted to help Austin after seeing his battered face on WLOX last week. 

"Horrified. I mean there's no other way to describe it. I mean we've all been bullied in the past. Everybody has had a bully, but this kid, he could have actually lost his life," said Banas.

So Dr. Banas offered to repair Austin's damaged tooth at no cost. He used Facebook to contact Austin's mom.

"I felt I could contribute. Being a dentist, I heard he chipped a tooth and I'd be more than honored to see him and take care of the problem," said Banas. "I'm really excited about this. My staff is excited."

Austin chipped his front tooth when he fell to the ground after being punched by another student at George County High last week.

When asked how he felt about the support, Austin replied, "I appreciate it, because it helps me out a lot. I mean, it could have been a lot worse."

Austin's mom called Dr. Banas a blessing.

"I'm not one that likes to ask for help. So Dr. Banas is a really good person. He's an angel. Hopefully, he'll be blessed seven times over," said Dees.

"What we did is we bonded his tooth and that should hold up pretty good," said Banas. "He was the best patient we've had all day."

"I'm always a good patient," Austin joked.

"I think he did a really good job," Austin added as he flashed a big smile.

Austin is legally blind.  His mom says Austin's left eye is still bruised and he has decreased vision in that eye, which she hopes is only temporary. 

Copyright 2012 WLOX. All rights reserved.

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