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Sandra Kaplan

New York, NY
  • Sandra Kaplan in the photo 1
  • Sandra Kaplan in the photo 2

On New Years Eve, Dec 31, 2016, I was headed to Lincoln Center's Philharmonic Hall to begin the new chapter in my life. My husband of 38 years had died in late November 2016 after a courageous fight with liver cancer. While still grieving and trying to adjust to my new status of "no emergency contact", I was determined to move forward. Eager to begin my new journey, I tripped on the last step on the Lincoln Center Plaza. I couldn't get up. The police called an ambulance and after much deliberation, I convinced the driver to take me to Weill Cornell.

I was brought to the ER where the resident called Dr. Wellman after several attempts to adjust my hip. Dr. Wellman operated on New Year's Day. I thank God every day that he was in town since his wife was expecting their daughter! After the shock of my original trauma, I was devastated by the news that I would not be weight bearing for 10 weeks since I had SMASHED my hip. During the next 10 weeks, I went through a myriad of moods. I was fatigued by the constant pain, depressed by my long stay at a rehab center, worried that I would lose my job and discouraged from my in ability to make substantial walking progress. I wanted my life back. During this tumultuous time, Dr. Wellman was always available to me. He answered every email, he was kind, compassionate, understanding, encouraging and reassuring. He was my light at the end of the tunnel. He was my go to person in the middle of my lonely nights.

Dr. Wellman is the best combination of Dr. Welby, Ben Casy, Dr. Kildare, and he is Dr. McDreamy! His skill, positive attitude and availability to his patients make him an extraordinary doctor. He embodies the ideal surgeon: skilled and human.

After my hip healed, Dr. Wellman. referred me to Dr. McLawhorn for a hip replacement surgery. I hit the jackpot again! Dr. McLawhorn operated on me within a week of my first visit. He understood my situation and was eager to get me back on track. His skill, bedside manner, and understanding was impeccable. His patience was impressive; he answered all my questions and kept his word......I would walk again on two legs that were the same length!

After six weeks of PT with Jenny (Yen, Wen-Yau), I am happy to report that I have gotten my life back. No more wheelchairs, walkers or canes. I am back in the game at work, I am catching up on theater, I am going to gym and plan to spend the summer at my house in Quogue. I thank my lucky stars that Dr. Wellman's wife was pregnant and that he recommended Dr. McLawhorn to me.. I will shout it from the rooftops: The doctors at HSS ROCK!

August 27, 2020:

I am not a world class athlete, a professional dancer, or a star in any field. I am just a 74-year-old widow who loves to swim and has a propensity for tripping. My habit of looking up has caused me two hip operations and a shoulder replacement surgery. I have had the honor of being operated at HSS three times in the last 4 years.

While Dr. Wellman and Dr. McLawhorn did a wonderful job restoring my left hip, Dr. Samuel Taylor and his team have done a stellar job restoring mobility to my right shoulder with total replacement surgery. It was a circuitous journey to get to this point. In 2000, I tripped down a flight of steps in Central Park while running after my two labs in the snow. In the last twenty years, my shoulder has atrophied to the point of immobility. Over the past 4 years, Dr. Taylor was the 'ideal' doctor. He validated my pain, patiently listened to my problem and always treated me with professional courtesy. Having known my history of multiple operations, he never rushed me into an operation. He suggested cortisone shots and PRP treatments. He was honest and empathetic. He assured me that I would know when it was time to take the next step. He was cautious to “not do any harm”.

When I could no longer swim, I knew it was time. I booked the operation for March and then the pandemic happened. I patiently waited until July to go under the knife. The experience was remarkable. As Dr. Taylor had promised, the operation was a non- event. With his skill, knowledge and focus, I never experienced any pain. I felt safe in his hands and perfectly at ease in HSS. The staff and Dr Taylor’s team (Nick, Kerry) were attentive to all my needs. Kayla Hazel has helped me gain my strength and range of motion with PT at HSS.

Thank you, HSS, for your professional, skilled and handsome doctors, your enormous support staff, your concern for keeping your patients safe during these challenging times and for promoting a respectful and healing environment.

I am, again, Back in the Game!