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Jessica Halpern

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Harvard lacrosse player Jessica Halpern was a junior when she suffered her first major sports injury: a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in her knee.

It was that injury that brought her to New England Baptist Hospital. “The doctors were so reassuring — they had done this exact surgery so many times on so many athletes — and explained exactly what would happen.”

That expertise was reassuring for the nervous athlete. “Surgery is a big deal. You want to go somewhere where you feel comfortable,” says Halpern. “At New England Baptist, I felt like I was in such good hands. I know it will sound funny, but I didn’t even feel like I was at a hospital. I had been in the hospital before, and it was miserable.  At the Baptist, I felt so cared for. Everyone showed deep concern for how I was doing —from prehab to surgery to rehab to being back on the field.”

So, when Halpern tore the meniscus in her other knee as a senior, “it wasn’t even a question of where I’d have surgery,” she recalls.

After consulting with NEBH physicians, Halpern opted to have the damaged cartilage removed by scope rather than undergoing a complete repair. “It was the difference between a five-week recovery and a five-month recovery,” she explains.  “The doctors understood how much I wanted to play in my final season as a college athlete.”

Thanks to expert care at NEBH, “I was able to come back for the final playoff game,” Halpern notes. “It meant a lot.”