Astoria Williams-Smith loves to smile, but felt the need to cover her mouth because of her teeth.
But now she is set to receive a full-mouth makeover from Positive Image Dental as part of a fundraiser for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Bermuda.
Ms Williams-Smith fought back tears as she was surprised with the news yesterday.
She told Patrina O’Connor-Paynter, BBBS managing director, that she wanted to donate clothes to the charity as a thank-you gesture.
She said: “That’s the way the Lord works. You give and you get.
“Last Friday they called me and told me I was a finalist, and I was shocked. I prayed to the Lord this morning and I asked him to let me be the one to receive this.
“It’s magnificent. It’s magnificent to receive something like this.”
Ms Williams-Smith, a former manager at a St George gift shop, said she had faced serious problems in recent years — including the death of her son Demarcvjai “Marvin” Williams, 28, who died after a crash in March.
Ms Williams-Smith said: “He was the love of my life. I adopted him and had him since he was a baby.
“He was just going to get a haircut to go to Las Vegas when he was in a head-on collision.
“He was a manager at Burrows Lightbourne, and everybody loved him to death.”
She explained that as she coped with the tragedy, her dental health deteriorated and she is now missing some teeth and needs other work as well.
Ms Williams-Smith said: “Financially I just couldn’t do it. I didn’t have dental insurance. I only had insurance through my husband.
“I loved to smile, but I look at myself now and know that I can’t, that I have to put my hand over my mouth.”
She is thrilled to have been awarded the makeover.
Ms Williams-Smith said: “I’m very excited about it. I never thought I would get something like this done for me.
“I just cannot believe that this is something that is happening.
“I’m so thankful for it, for Positive Image and Patrina and my daughter, who has always been there for me.”
She added: “After I’m finished getting this, I will tell everyone about Positive Image.
Ms O’Connor-Paynter said the Devonshire dental practice had offered to donate the makeover — worth up to $30,000 — to publicise the work of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Bermuda, which pairs children with responsible adults to give them direction in life.
She said: “What they want the public to do is make a donation to BBBS in hopes of raising at least $5,000 for us.
“It’s the best of both worlds. This individual will get a full-mouth makeover and BBBS will get a donation to help continue its work for the young people of Bermuda.”
Ms O’Connor-Paynter was not involved in the selection of Ms Williams-Smith, but a brief conversation was enough to realise why she was the perfect candidate.
She said: “She has just been through a lot in life.
“What we noticed was that she cared so much about giving to others that sometimes she doesn’t care for herself, which has led to issues with her mouth.
“She has just done so much for others that she deserves to have something for herself.”