Eden Prairie teen's death during wisdom teeth removal 'undetermined'

- An Eden Prairie, Minn. 17-year-old died during a routine surgery to have her wisdom teeth removed in June, but the exact cause remains inconclusive. The Hennepin County medical examiner’s report released Thursday listed the manner of death as “undetermined.”

Sydney Galleger, an Eden Prairie High School junior, was having her wisdom teeth extracted on June 9 at Edina Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. Her family announced on a CaringBridge page she passed away on June 15 in a journal entry labeled, "Another Angel."

In its entirety, the medical examiner’s report reads:

“The cause of death for this individual is anoxic encephalopathy due to cardiac arrest during dental extraction. The manner of death is undetermined as the potential contributing role of medication administered during the surgical procedure could not be excluded.”

Her mother, Diane Galleger, told the Star Tribune in a phone interview she's not sure if the family will seek further tests, and said the didn't plan on any legal action against the oral surgery group.

Diane Galleger wrote a CaringBridge journal entry on Wednesday, thanking loved ones for their support.

"Losing Sydney had Steve and I thinking about how we've reacted to others that have lost loved ones. Everyone has been so kind, compassionate and caring to Steve, Jack and me, it's been inconceivable. I can only speak for myself when I say this (I know Steve feels the same though), I can only hope I was as kindhearted as everyone has been to our family. If I wasn't, I deeply regret it," she wrote, in part.

Sydney was an Alpine skier and a swim team diver and captain, and a formal dedication ceremony for the newly-named Sydney Galleger Pool will be held soon. Tonight, Eden Prairie will host a meet against Wayzata for their first Lake Conference dual meet of the season. Sydney had been a diver in the Lake Conference since seventh grade, Eden Prairie swim and dive head coach Kelly Boston said.


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