809
809
2

Help Dustin Harbin Fix His Smashed-Up Face

$54,969 of $75,000 goal

Raised by 803 people in 11 days

I was recently in a bicycle accident which resulted in me landing--by all evidence, directly on the mouth--face first on the asphalt. I'm not sure what happened, because the fall was hard enough to erase my memory of it occurring. I just woke up in a pool of blood and teeth, and into a long period of healing and reconstruction.

The major injuries I sustained were almost entirely to my face: my upper maxillary bone (basically my upper jaw) was completely detached from my skull, necessitating surgery to reattach. My bridge--basically my two front upper teeth--was knocked completely out, and one lower tooth was knocked out, with a second likely to follow in the coming weeks.  

39737790_1559781743596960_r.jpeg(above: the day after surgery)

The good news: I am fine. I am alive, I'm not blinded, no apparent brain damage, and as of this writing, with my stitches out and the nerve pain in my hands and elbows down to manageable levels, you wouldn't know I'd been hurt unless I opened my mouth or tried to speak. I'm on a liquid diet for six weeks while my bones knit back together, but a small army of close friends have filled my house with blenders and smoothie supplies and love and kindness, so on that front I'm doing well. 

Getting teeth replaced is not easy, and walking around with a big gap in your face while you figure out what to do is no fun, but it's doable. I've done it before, in fact: the reason I had a bridge in the first place is knocking my front teeth out when I was 13, in almost exactly the same way. Bicycles are canceled for me.

But paying for it... it's going to be a lot. I, like many artists, have no insurance, not to mention no money, no savings, et cetera. I just looked at the bill from the hospital, and it's blood-curdlingly large. But the immediate bills I need to prepare for are the dentist and oral surgeon. Costs include oral surgery, reconstruction, and followups, bridge replacement, and replacing 1-2 teeth entirely. I'm not sure what this will total up to, but I'm guessing more--maybe much more--than $25,000, so I'm starting there. 

39737790_155978135461547_r.jpeg(above: me in the hospital trying to be stoic)

It irks me to no end to have to go hat-in-hand to pay for these injuries. The profession I've chosen is not great for emergencies. And I know that many of us need help, and many people will have better reasons for that need than I do. But if you can donate any amount, large or small, I will appreciate it very much. If you know me at all, you know that losing teeth is a big deal for me, and looking at this straight-on is incredibly uncomfortable. But as they say--can't go around it, gotta go through it. 

+ Read More
Hello! Well, I hope you had a good weekend. Mine was not too shabby--I continued to heal my poor dumb face, slowly but surely, and meanwhile a billion incredibly kind people have chipped in to make that healing's costs financially feasible. It is really--REALLY--hard to put into words how humbling this is. As of this writing, over 50,000 dollars has been donated, from people I've known for years, people I've known only a little bit or from afar, and many many people I have never met before. Many many. And many of those come with kind notes and little exhortations to their own social networks, saying nice things about me. It's a lot to handle, but there are worse problems in the world than being inundated with good feelings from every direction.

In the meantime, so you know, here's how I'm doing: much better than you think (judging from the worried notes I'm still getting). My face is still numb and slightly puffy where the little plates/brackets/barrettes are holding the bones together while they knit. I'm not in much pain besides annoying small pain from my lip and lower teeth, one of which is most likely dying and another one is just a chunk of root stuck in there stubbornly. But it's Ibuprofen-level pain, not like, opiate pain. It mainly hurts when I talk for very long or smile at all--so I'm learning to avoid anything that might make me surprise laugh.

In terms of treatment, I saw the oral surgeon last Wednesday, who seemed to think I was healing well, no infection, et cetera. He took the stitches out of my lip and told me I'd need to massage it in order to break up the scar tissue. Sure enough, the next day the whole thing started to tighten up like crazy, so now it's even harder than ever to make "F" sounds. Also B--calling my dog "Beans" just sounds like me lisping Eans! Eans! over and over again. I had my first appointment with the dentist and we talked over the different options. It sounds like I'm going to lose a second tooth on the bottom, adjacent to the one that's broken off at the root. And most likely the other two smaller front teeth, in order to replace all four with a bridge. Plus a new bridge for the upper two. So in a little over a week I'm going in to turn my face into a big gap for two weeks while the extractions heal, before they can fit with with the bridges. Whew! That's on my mind quite a lot, but it sounds like the best combination of affordability/predictability/healing time. Implants cost more than twice as much per tooth as a bridge, and it's a much more complicated healing process. Having my teeth in limbo is almost as unsettling as worrying that my upper jaw will come loose again, so I'm opting for surety. The dentist seems to think that's the best path too, and she went to college, so I'm forced to agree.

Anyway. Just wanted to let people know what was up, and to say again thank you, thank you, thank you. Thank you for your kindness, your consideration, your many messages, and for making a dumb idiot who fell off his bike feel like a valuable part of his community despite it all. ♥♥♥
+ Read More
UPDATE: Wow today has been a whirlwind of emotions. Thank you so much to everyone that has donated. I am truly, truly gobsmacked with the care and kindness of so many people, from friends to acquaintances to peers to strangers.

On the advice of numerous people I'm upping the goal to reflect the emergency room/hospital bill. I didn't do this initially because, frankly, it seemed like too much. And most likely still is. But after paying for new teeth and the reconstruction surgery, this bill will still be there lurking in the background, so might as well fold it in while I can. This whole thing has been a commercial for a) having insurance, and b) how ridiculous insurance has made all of these costs. But we'll leave those problems for another day--no one wants to hear me bloviate while my face is still swollen and lispy.
+ Read More
Read a Previous Update

$54,969 of $75,000 goal

Raised by 803 people in 11 days
Your share could be bringing in donations. Sign in to track your impact.
   Connect
We will never post without your permission.
In the future, we'll let you know if your sharing brings in any donations.
We weren't able to connect your Facebook account. Please try again later.
AF
$25
Abram Fox
5 hours ago
$100
Anonymous
19 hours ago
JB
$100
John van Bruggen
22 hours ago
AS
$200
Arna Selznick
23 hours ago
AR
$20
Alex Rice
23 hours ago
$25
Anonymous
23 hours ago
JM
$15
Jennifer Marshall
1 day ago
$25
Anonymous
1 day ago
$20
Anonymous
1 day ago
BR
$10
Ben Rumback
1 day ago
or
Use My Email Address
By continuing, you agree with the GoFundMe
terms and privacy policy
There's an issue with this Campaign Organizer's account. Our team has contacted them with the solution! Please ask them to sign in to GoFundMe and check their account. Return to Campaign

Are you ready for the next step?
Even a $5 donation can help!
Donate Now Not now
Connect on Facebook to keep track of how many donations your share brings.
We will never post on Facebook without your permission.