top of page

Get Back In The Game

Lauren Mirabelli

Lumberton, NJ

ACL Injury

Marvin Vettori Photo.png

In 2010, I was the starting varsity midfielder for my high school soccer team, star javelin thrower for track, and was in the best shape of my life. My plan was to attend a Division 1 college and fulfill my dream of playing soccer there. This all changed when I tore my left ACL in the state cup final of my club soccer teams game. It tore it with an effortless cut. It was my sophomore year of high school and I would have to miss my junior year of soccer and the rest of my spring season as well. Although I was completely destroyed by it, I was determined to get back to my full potential. I had an ACL tear, meniscal tear, as well as a microfracture in which the doctor insisted on drilling holes into my bone to heal it. I had received this surgery from Rothman Orthopedics.

After two months of crutches, I began rehabilitation. I trained for a whole year and was cleared to return to playing May 1st, 2010. One day later, while training with the javelin, I planted with my left leg, and it completely gave out on me, tearing again. Either the surgery was done incorrectly or I just had really bad luck. My mother researched for days and took me to eight different doctors this time, determined to find the best. Every doctor seemed the same to me; didn't seem to actually care. It was as if I was just another number.

On the last visit, we took the trip up to Hospital for Special Surgery. Every single person we encountered was unconditionally sympathetic and kind from the secretaries to the doctors themselves. After meeting my physician assistant, Steve, I also became extremely inspired to be a physician assistant myself. When I finally met Dr. Marx, it occurred to me that he was the only doctor out of the eight who actually seemed to care. They were both entirely sympathetic and actually showed emotion in what they do. Although I would receive the same treatment as the year before, miss my senior year of soccer and track, I had to embrace it. Dr. Marx realized my LCL had been loose, which had led me to another quick tear. Out of the eight doctors we visited, he was the only one to notice that. He reconstructed my ACL as well as my LCL on May 30th, 2010. While in the hospital, I had stayed two nights. I have been in a good amount of hospitals, volunteered in one for two years, and never, have I met the most amazing and courteous staff. Between the constant check ups, friendly attitudes, and bedside manner, my family and I were amazed. Not only did nurses constantly check up on me, but Dr. Marx and Steve themselves even did continuously which was such a wonderful touch.

A week later while resting on my couch, I received a phone call from Dr. Marx just to see how I was doing and feeling. To have a personal call from the doctor himself really ensured me that I had been in good hands. Him and the rest of the hospital staff had been such a helpful effect during a really difficult time for me.

After yet another difficult year of rehab and training, I decided I would return to the sport I loved. I ended up still throwing javelin at my high school and earned 1st place in my division. Although doctors would enforce me it wasn't the best decision to return to soccer, I realized I loved it too much to give it up. I am currently a senior at Philadelphia University, in the Physician Assistant Program as well, and am only one year away from being a PA-C! I also ended up playing Division 2 soccer here on the Women's team and loved every minute of it. I continuously still train and try to keep my knee strong. I owe all my gratitude towards Dr. Marx, Steve, and Hospital for Special Surgery, not only for my recovery, but for giving me a direction on where I want to go with my life. After becoming a physician assistant, my dream is to hopefully work at HSS, live in New York, and help young athletes like Dr. Marx and Steve did for me. Thank you.


Lauren Mirabelli

bottom of page