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Protesters Target Office of Hilo Dentist

Posted March 28, 2014, 05:04 PM HST Updated May 9, 2014, 04:52 PM HST
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The Hilo office of Dr. John Stover, which was the target of a protest today. Photo by Dave Smith.

 A protest was held today in front of the office of a Hilo dentist whose patient went into a coma on March 17 while having her wisdom teeth extracted.

About two dozen people took part in the demonstration fronting the Kinoole Street office of Dr. John Stover.

Some of the signs asked for prayers for Kristen “Stenn” Tavares, the 23-year-old mother of two in critical condition on Maui, while others said “when will Dr. Stover’s offices be shut down!!!”

According to her fiancé, Chauncey Prudencio, who organized the protest, Tavares remains on life support at Maui Memorial Medical Center.

The scene of today's protest. Photo by Dave Smith.

The scene of today’s demonstration. Photo by Dave Smith.

Prudencio said Tavares went into Stover’s office to have four wisdom teeth removed. Three-quarters of the way through the procedure, she apparently went into cardiac arrest.

Prudencio told Big Island Now that her prognosis “doesn’t look good.”

Prudencio said he organized the demonstration to draw attention to the fact that Stover, who also does cosmetic surgery, is still operating his offices in Hilo, Kona and Waimea despite a variety of complaints filed with state regulators against him.

“We don’t understand why (the state) has not shut him down,” Prudencio, 26, told Big Island Now.

The mid-day traffic was busy on Kinoole Street during the protest. Many of the motorists responded to the demonstrators with honks and waves.

Chauncey Prudencio, fiance of Stover patient Kristen "Stenn" Tavares, organized today's protest. Photo by Dave Smith.

Chauncey Prudencio, above, organized today’s protest. He is the fiancé of Stover patient Kristen “Stenn” Tavares. Photo by Dave Smith.

Prudencio said another demonstration was planned for 11 a.m. to noon Saturday by the King Kamehameha statue at Hilo’s bayfront.

Stover is licensed by the state both as a dentist and a medical doctor.

Records on file with the state show that Stover has seven pending complaints, three involving his work as a dentist and four as an M.D.

Stover did not respond to a message left at his office requesting comment.

According to Anela Libron, a friend of Tavares’, Sweetwater Health Education will be sponsoring a benefit carwash next month for Tavares’ family.

One of the protestors today in front of Dr. John Stover's office. Photo by Dave Smith.

Some of the protestors today in front of Dr. John Stover’s office. Photo by Dave Smith.

The carwash will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday, April 18, at the medical training center at 357 Waianuenue Ave. next to Kozmic Cones.

For information or to contribute, call Libron at 961-3338.

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