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Taylor Douchey

Taylor DoucheyBacking Taylor Every Step of the Way

At seven-years-old Taylor Douchey was diagnosed with scoliosis, a curvature of the spine.

So Mr. and Mrs. Douchey brought Taylor to Andrew Merola, M.D., a spine surgeon at New York Methodist Hospital's Spine and Arthritis Center. Mr. Douchey had been seeing Dr. Merola to treat a back injury sustained during the 9/11 attacks. "Because of Taylor's young age and the fact that her bones were still growing at a rapid rate, a brace was the most prudent solution for her scoliosis at that time," explains Dr. Merola.

Taylor wore the brace for nearly five years, but despite the rigid pressure it placed on her back, her spine was determined to curve. Spinal fusion surgery was now the only option. Dr. Merola performed the surgery on Taylor's upper back when she was 11 years old. A second surgery was needed on her lower back at the age of 14.

After her surgery, Taylor was in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) for six days. Mrs. Douchey is thankful for the care Taylor received in the PICU; "after your child has a surgery of that degree, of course you are a nervous wreck! But I knew she was in good hands…[the doctors and staff] were also a great support for me!"

Taylor began high school in the fall, and she was looked forward to living her teen years to the fullest.

Read more about Taylor Douchey in the 2010 NYM Annual Report.