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Southeast Texas dental specialist gets $20K reward for 20 years of service

The cash was meant as a thank you coming from her employers Risinger and Nelson Orthodontic Specialists.

BEAUMONT, Texas — A viral video shows a Southeast Texas woman getting the surprise of a lifetime.

Sophia Teel, a beloved dental specialist, was given $20,000 by her employee for 20 years of dedicated work.

The video went viral and has been viewed more than 50,000 times and even got picked up by Good Morning America.

The cash was meant as a thank you coming from her employers Risinger and Nelson Orthodontic Specialists.

Now, Teel has the keys to her dream house in Silsbee.

"It's really special because it's been a game plan for the last three years. It was something I had been working towards during that time and then getting a lump sum and the perfect house made. That's what made it overwhelming."

She wouldn't be moving in without that generous gift from her employer.

"She is a godsend to the practice and to me, and I just want to encourage others to recognize special people in their lives and try to find some way to bless them so they may bless others," Dr. Ronald Risinger said.

Risinger said Teel is a huge reason for the company's success and she's been there since the beginning when the company first opened.

“I want to reward that dedication," Risinger said. "I wish I could have done more for her, you know and when she makes 25 years, I'll make sure we do more for her."

Thanks to that money, Teel was able to close on her dream. 

Realtor Shameca Elam and the owner of Martin Home Solutions, Kendrick Martin, said it was an honor to help Teel close on her dream.

"I'm excited for Sophie," Elam said. "So grateful Sophie loved the property and we just all work together as a team to take care of Sophie."

Martin said working with Teel touched him in a special way.

"This house was in honor of my late grandfather Joseph Payne. Sophie made this easy because it was sold before it was finished," Martin said.

Teel said no matter how tough things get, anything is possible.

"Going to work for the right people will pay off and then you'll run into the right people for everything else to fall into place," Teel said. 

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