Skip to main content

Mother of teen who died after wisdom teeth surgery writes emotional post

Sydney Galleger went into cardiac arrest during the procedure.

It's been more than two years since 17-year-old Sydney Galleger died.

The Eden Prairie teen was having what was supposed to be routine surgery to remove her wisdom teeth when she went into cardiac arrest. 

Now, her mother is opening up about that day in a heartbreaking account posted on a CaringBridge page created for Sydney.

The post written by Diane Galleger – titled "Justice for Syd/Healing Hand of God" – goes over her account of what happened the day of the surgery.

"I walked back to the office with Sydney where her surgery would take place, stayed for a minute and then I made my way back to the waiting room. Little did I know, that would be the last time I would ever see her beautiful smile or hear the laughter in her voice," she writes.

From there, she details the efforts to see if something was wrong biologically; a heart condition, for example. But nothing ever came up. And it wasn't until Diane Galleger got a call from a Star Tribune reporter that she heard the doctor in charge of the surgery – Paul Tompach – had his license suspended for not providing appropriate care during Sydney's procedure.

Diane Galleger claims Dr. Tompach didn't take Sydney's vitals beforehand, did nothing when her lips began turning blue during the surgery, left her in the room alone while waiting for paramedics, and wasn't using a $12 piece of equipment that could have alerted them if the teenager stopped breathing.

Sydney's parents recently agreed to a $2 million settlement with Tompach, ABC News reports. The doctor did not admit wrongdoing. With his license restored, he's now working with the University of Minnesota's dentistry school, the Star Tribune says.

Diane Galleger's entire post is on CaringBridge and worth your time to read – click here to go there.

Next Up

Ettinger and Finstad

Brad Finstad (R) edges out Jeff Ettinger (D) in CD-1 special election

Finstad will serve out the remaining months of the late Jim Hagedorn's term, before facing Ettinger again in November.

Gov. Tim Walz and Scott Jensen.

Minnesota primary 2022: Results from MN's statewide, congressional races

Minnesotans have voted and set the stage for the November elections.

Omar Samuels

Rep. Ilhan Omar defeats Don Samuels in contentious primary

Unofficial results for one of Minnesota's most-watched primary races are in.

Ambulance Hennepin Healthcare

Boy, 14, critical after accidental shooting at Minneapolis apartment

Police say the shooting happened during a gathering at an apartment.

Screen Shot 2022-08-09 at 3.25.49 PM

Charges: Man caused Burnsville building fire because girlfriend was late

The alleged arson fire displaced around 50 residents.

Famous dave granite city

Famous Dave's, Granite City owner sold for $200 million

The owner of Famous Dave's, BBQ Holdings, is based in Minnetonka.

Alanna McLean

Appeal to find missing northern Minnesota woman

Alanna McLean was last seen this past weekend.


Minnesota reaches 55 confirmed cases of monkeypox

Nearly 9,000 cases have been confirmed nationwide.

derek chauvin

$1.45M payout for correctional officers prevented from guarding Derek Chauvin

The officers were reportedly ordered to avoid Derek Chauvin while he was in jail.


Palm Springs residents: Divert the Mississippi to solve our drought problems

Should the southwest have some of the Mississippi River?


Dentist sued after Minnesota teen dies during wisdom teeth surgery

Lawsuit says teen was subjected to "unreasonable and unacceptable risk of harm."

'We will never know' why teen died after wisdom tooth surgery, mother writes

Sydney, a junior at Eden Prairie High School, died on June 15 after spending several days in the intensive care unit following the normally routine dental procedure.