'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.

There is "no clear cut answer" for why 17-year-old Sydney Galleger went into cardiac arrest while getting her wisdom teeth removed back in June, her mother wrote on CaringBridge Wednesday.

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.

"After three months of the medical examiners trying to determine why Sydney had a cardiac arrest, there is no clear cut answer," Diane Galleger wrote.

The Hennepin County medical examiner released its findings Thursday, saying Sydney Galleger's cause of death is "anoxic encephalopathy [lack of oxygen in the brain] due to cardiac arrest during dental extraction."

However, the manner of death is ruled undetermined because the it's possible medication administered during the procedure could have had an effect, the report notes.

Sydney's cause of death appeared to be "the perfect storm" of events, Diane Galleger wrote, adding, "She had a slight abnormality in her heart and signs of a viral infection on her brain. None on their own was felt to be enough to cause a cardiac arrest. Could she have had a slight reaction to the medications causing everything to misfire? Unlikely, but we will never know."

Sydney donated her organs. A 61-year-old Wisconsin man received her pancreas, a 12-year-old Minnesota girl and a 7-year-old Iowa boy each received a kidney, and a 21-year-old girl received Sydney's liver, her family wrote on CaringBridge back in July.

Sydney to be honored Thursday

Sydney's former teammates at Eden Prairie High School will honor her Thursday night at 5 p.m. at the swim and dive team's first conference meet at the new Eden Prairie Community Center pool, the CaringBridge post notes.

That pool is being named in her honor as well. A fund set up to raise money for the dedication has raised $83,795.11, Jennifer Nerison, a friend of the Gallegers, wrote on CaringBridge, which exceeded the money needed.

The remaining amount will go into the Sydney Galleger Scholarship Fund to help support the swim team and the alpine ski team, which Sydney was also part of.

A dedication ceremony is planned for the naming of Sydney's pool once the sign is complete – a date hasn't been determined, Nerison notes.

Next Up

State Patrol

State Patrol reports 2 fatal crashes on Friday in Minnesota

The first incident happened in Austin Township, and the second happened in Birch Lake Township.


Deaths on Minnesota roads in 2021 at highest level in more than a decade

There have been a total of eight motorcyclist fatalities on Minnesota roads this year.

Screen Shot 2021-05-08 at 9.15.09 AM

Chinese rocket debris to crash somewhere on Earth this weekend

Minnesota appears to be just outside of it's massive potential crash zone.

Starlink satellites

Strange lights in Minnesota sky Friday night were SpaceX satellites

SpaceX is planning to launch 60 more Starlink satellites on Sunday, May 9.

Jorge Polanco

Shoemaker, Twins lineup rebounds against Tigers

Jorge Polanco homered in a 7-3 victory over Detroit.

Kirill Kaprizov / Minnesota Wild

Watch: Kaprizov's OT winner lifts Wild into 2nd place in West

Kaprizov's goal gave the Wild a 3-2 victory over the Ducks.

Byron Buxton

Buxton placed on IL, Trevor Larnach called up

Buxton could be out "for weeks" with a hip strain.

A bald eagle perched on branches.

USFWS confirms 2 bald eagles were shot dead

The agency is offering a reward for information in the case.

A newborn baby, wrapped in a blanket with its mother.

Most popular baby names includes one not in top 10 for 100 years

But Olivia and Liam once again led the way for girls and boys.


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

Sydney Galleger went into cardiac arrest during the procedure.

Dentist sued after Minnesota teen dies during wisdom teeth surgery

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

Brothers sentenced for home invasion, rape of mother and teen daughter

Two brothers will spend the next 30 years in prison for the terrifying home invasion and rape of a mother and her 14-year-old daughter.