Dr. Matthew Kaufman performs phrenic nerve surgery on 10-year-old athlete
(Cherry Hill, NJ-July 6, 2012) -- Wasn’t fate cruel enough to 8-year-old Grace Doran,
who was struck with T-cell lymphoblastic lymphoma? Yet despite a successful two-year
battle to cure the disease with chemotherapy, the young girl couldn’t return to the
activities she loved.
An avid competitive swimmer and softball player, Grace, of Cherry Hill, New Jersey,
bore her cancer treatment sustained by the love of her sports. “The whole time she was
sick, she wanted her sports,” says her mother Eileen. So much so, that Grace kept a
picture of herself at swim championships, and pointing to the picture told her mother,
“I’m working at this so I can go back to there.”
Imagine her chagrin then when after her recovery, she began to swim, but couldn’t even
make it for two laps in a row. Pale and out of breath, Grace was devastated.
Because her lymphoma was mostly in her chest, including the largest tumor (10
resulted in diaphragm paralysis and the ensuing chronic shortness of breath, sleep
disturbances, and lower energy levels. Hence Grace’s difficulty performing the activities
And the medical community’s response to phrenic nerve damaged patients is like a
broken record to Dr. Kaufman and his staff: Learn to live with it. Shouldn’
grateful to have her life back? Maybe this is the best you can get. These were the words
that Grace and her family heard.
But her mother, a veteran of going to war for her children (in addition to Grace, there is
her twin brother, and two other siblings), felt, “We’ve come too far to give up now.”
And then fate was good to Grace: her mother found Dr. Matthew Kaufman on the Internet.
Since 2007, Dr. Kaufman has been performing phrenic nerve surgeries, and is, as far as
can be determined, the only one in the world to do these procedures. Of the nearly 45
phrenic nerve procedures he has done, Grace Moran is Dr. Kaufman’s youngest patient.
One month following surgery with Dr. Kaufman to remove the scar tissue and adhesions
to her phrenic nerve, Grace took the field at softball practice. Two months later, Grace,
now 11 years old, is playing games, and in June, 2012, she swam a 50-meter breast stroke
and back stroke time trials. June and July were highlighted by swim meets every
“We were walking around terrified all the time. But for the first time in three years, we
feel she’s going to be okay. Really okay,” says a relieved Eileen Doran.
“Dr. Kaufman is my hero because he absolutely saved my child. The cancer doctors
saved her life, but he gave her back her life.”
Check out Make Some Noise, awareness and research for pediatric cancer
video talking about cancer. “Cancer sucks,” she says.
About the Institute for Advanced Reconstruction
The physicians of the Institute for Advanced Reconstruction are recognized as leaders in
the field of nerve reconstruction and plastic reconstructive surgery. They have over fifty
years of combined experience, and are among the few nationally and even worldwide to
perform a number of pioneering procedures. Their successful team approach to medicine
results in the highest possible quality of care, and their reputation for excellence in their
field draws patients from around the U.S. and the world.