Back in the Saddle
Meet Greer Cofield, our 2013 Tennessee Children's Miracle Network Hospitals Champion
Greer Cofield is one courageous little cowgirl.
On October 8, 2012, she and her mother Shannon, ventured into the pasture searching for her favorite horse when the unforeseeable happened- a horse started charging toward them.
Her mother quickly tucked her daughter into her own body to offer as much protection as she could and braced for impact.
Hanging on for life
Dizzied from the fall, Shannon started to piece together what had happened and found her daughter nearby, limp and badly injured. Despite her best efforts to shield her, Greer had sustained the brunt of the attack. The right side of her skull and face had been crushed by the horse's hooves.
Shannon recalls feeling a surge of indescribable fear pulse through her as she turned to her faith and asked God to save her delicate daughter, who was just 5 years old and appeared to be barely holding on.
Shannon immediately called 911 and a LIFEFORCE helicopter quickly responded to airlift Greer to T.C. Thompson Children's Hospital at Erlanger, where she battled for her life on a ventilator. No one was sure whether she would survive, much less run and play again.
One day at a time
Greer was placed into the skilled hands of Dr. Larry Sargent, a reconstructive surgeon and founder of the Tennessee Craniofacial Center. During the roughly four-hour surgery, Sargent painstakingly pieced together Greer's face with plates, screws and a special bone-mesh he designed.
"Dr. Sargent put our daughter back together like a puzzle and made her beautiful again," Shannon says.
Day by day, Greer's parents watched in awe as their little girl returned to them. Though they were excited to see her grow stronger, they were devastated by doctor's concerns that she might never speak again because of a condition called Broca's aphasia.
Just six days after her accident, Greer turned to her mother and whispered her first sentence. And four days after that, she walked out of Children's Hospital- the only evidence of the ordeal being a half-moon scar around her eye. In fact, the most notable and unusual thing about Greer's injuries was how quickly she recovered from them.
Surviving such a devastating trauma, surgery and recovery, it is undeniable that Greer experienced a miracle. She truly has the heart of a champion, and her family and the staff at Children's Hospital are thankful that her story has only just begun.
Every year, the Children's Miracle Network (CMN) Hospitals Champions program identifies a child with a remarkable medical story from each state. These 52 champions represent 32 million treatments provided each year at 170 CMN Hospitals.
Children's Hospital at Erlanger is proud to announce that Greer Cofield has been chosen as this year's CMN Hospitals Tennessee Champion. Greer will serve as a fundraising and awareness ambassador for Children's Hospital, the state of Tennessee, and all children treated at the North American chairty's 170 member hospitals.
At T.C. Thompson Children's Hospital at Erlanger, we recognize that children are not miniature adults- and we treat them accordingly. Children's Hospital Foundation is proud to assist in funding the Child Life program. Other programs the Foundation has funded include the creation of the kid-friendly Emily Ransom CT ranch- a dedicated pediatric CT scanner decorated to look like a western ranch and the expansion of the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, so more kids like Greer can receive intensive care close to home. To support these projects and programs that help kids like Greer, please click here>>