Spotlight Newsletter | Taryn Brandt

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Because of you, Taryn is still competing for gold

But she nearly lost her lifelong dream

TARYN’S LIFE REVOLVED AROUND SKATING, from elementary school on. There were lessons and training sessions before and after school, independent academic classes to free up even more practice time, hours and hours of competitive dance to help with the performance aspects of skating, and competition after competition. It was her passion—and it was all-consuming.

But skating is hard on the body—and injuries can change your life plans. In college, Taryn suffered an ankle injury and was off the ice for a year recovering from surgery.

Fortunately, Taryn is tough. She came back from her injury to have some of her most successful years of competition, medaling at the New England Regional Championships. She might not make it to the Olympics, she realized, but she could still compete—and win—at the highest levels of elite figure skating.

Then, a few years later, she began having pain in her right knee— the leg she uses to land her jumps.

“Cheesy as it sounds, Dr. Sutton is my savior.”

After knee surgery with a local orthopedist, and a long recovery period, Taryn was still in severe pain. She turned to YNHH for a second opinion. That’s where she found Karen Sutton, MD, orthopedic surgeon specializing in sports medicine. “I was so distraught—I was afraid I’d be in pain forever.”

Taryn was afraid she might never be able to compete again. “But Dr. Sutton got it. She was confident she could help me get back to where I wanted to be—which was skating. She was so patient and compassionate. It made a huge difference, because I felt that she cared.”

Over the next three years, Dr. Sutton performed a series of surgeries to repair the complex damage to Taryn’s meniscus. It took many months of recovery and painful physical therapy, but thanks to her determination—and your generous support of YNHH and physicians like Dr. Sutton—Taryn is competing again. And her knee feels great.

Paying it forward to future athletes 
Taryn’s life plan will probably always revolve around skating. But her career plan is to help other athletes get through the challenges of competition and injuries that are part of life for elite athletes.

She’s nearly completed her Doctor of Psychology degree in Athletic Counseling, and she’ll begin working with student athletes at Lehigh University in August. “Going through these experiences myself inspired me to help athletes with injures and transitions in their careers,” she says.

What a great example of how the benefits of your generous donations to YNHH ripple out to have an impact on so many. Thank you, donors!

Watch a video about Taryn’s recovery story


An Elite Athlete Turns To Yale To Rebuild Her Knee And Live Her Dreams from Yale Medicine on Vimeo.

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