News & Stories

Former Patient Donates $1,000 to Cooper Bone and Joint Institute

From left to right: Dr. Lawrence Miller, MD, Chairman and Chief of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Director of the Cooper Bone and Joint Institute, Taylor Hatfield and Susan Bass Levin, President and CEO of The Cooper Foundation

By freshman year of high school, Taylor Hatfield had torn the ACL in her knee twice.

The first time was while playing soccer in seventh grade. She had surgery to fix the tear, and returned to the field. Then, the Georgetown, DE, resident tore it again while playing field hockey. Taylor learned that she needed yet another ACL reconstruction surgery and a meniscus transplant. The meniscus is an important cushioning structure in the knee. Replacing this c-shaped cartilage ring with a new one from a donor can help surgeons treat complicated knee injuries. Yet, no doctor in Delaware performs this specialized procedure. So, Taylor was referred to the Cooper Bone and Joint Institute.

Dr. Lawrence Miller, MD, Chairman and Chief of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Director of the Cooper Bone and Joint Institute is one of the few surgeons nationally who performs this complex procedure. He and his team performed the meniscus transplant surgery in June 2010 and ACL surgery the following November.

Taylor is thankful for the comfort and care that she received at Cooper. Now a senior at Sussex Technical High School, she is back to playing field hockey.

“You would be surprised that I’ve had four knee surgeries,” she said. “This year, I felt the most improvement. I’m very thankful.”

As part of her senior class project, Taylor held a fundraiser night at Grottos Pizza to raise money for the Cooper Bone and Joint Institute and awareness of meniscus transplant surgery. The event was a huge success.

On March 22, Taylor came to Cooper University Hospital with her mom, Kristen, to present a donation of $1,000 to Dr. Miller and Susan Bass Levin, President and CEO of The Cooper Foundation.

“I was just amazed – shocked – when she called to tell me. She is such a great patient. This is so wonderful,” said Dr. Miller about Taylor’s fundraiser. “She could not have picked a better thing to do than donating to the Cooper Bone and Joint Institute.”

Taylor’s experience as a patient has inspired her to pursue a career in physical therapy. She recently participated in a physical therapy shadowing program and has been accepted into the University of Delaware’s Athletic Training Education Program.

“I feel like I connect better with the patients and really help them to get better,” she said.