“I am so grateful for everyone at HSS who has helped me lead an active life, despite the scoliosis.”
For over 40 years, Donna MacCrae has been teaching elementary school students, sitting in small chairs designed for nine-year-olds and stooping to meet her students eye to eye. Diagnosed with scoliosis as a child, Donna credits HSS with allowing her to enjoy her life and her career. “The Hospital is keeping me healthy,” she says.
At age 13, Donna’s legs were different lengths and her spine was curved. Dissatisfied with a physician who advised waiting a few years before intervening, Donna’s mother brought her to HSS to see the late Surgeon-in-Chief Emeritus Philip D. Wilson, Jr., MD. Dr. Wilson successfully performed a spinal fusion on Donna using a relatively new device called a Harrington Rod that reduced the curvature of her spine.
“Without HSS, I would have succumbed to a lung complication a long time ago,” says Donna. “HSS saved my life.” Nearly thirty years after her surgery, Donna returned to HSS seeking relief from back pain. Spine specialists Dr. David B. Levine and Dr. Oheneba Boachie-Adjei prescribed exercise and physical therapy. “I made a lifelong commitment to maintaining my back health.”
Motivated by her life-changing care and the advancements she has witnessed, Donna became an annual donor and included HSS in her estate plan. “Continuing the research is so important to me.” Because of her experience with Dr. Wilson, she is particularly proud to be a member of the Wilson Society. “I want the environment that Dr. Wilson created at HSS to continue,” Donna says. “I want to give back and say ‘thank you’.”