Surprise reunion: Former student performs shoulder replacement surgery on retired Greenwich AP bio teacher

Extreme shoulder pain led Arleene Ferko to the Hospital for Special Surgery – HSS Stamford. Soon after her arrival, she noticed that the surgeon’s name, Dr. Sam Taylor, looked familiar.

Bob Doda

Mar 27, 2023, 4:18 PM

Updated 389 days ago

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A retired Greenwich High School biology teacher recently underwent shoulder replacement surgery and, in the process, stumbled upon a classroom connection from decades ago.
Extreme shoulder pain led Arleene Ferko to the Hospital for Special Surgery, HSS Stamford. Soon after her arrival, she noticed that the surgeon's name, Dr. Sam Taylor, looked familiar.
“He was a scrawny 11th grader with a twinkle in the eye,” she said. “Sat in the back, baseball cap on backward, and he would just stare, and then the head would tilt, you could see the wheels spinning.”
Taylor, an orthopedic surgeon at HSS, says it is amazing how “things come full circle” and remembered how her class inspired his love of science and anatomy.
Ferko says all these years later, Taylor still has a distinct way of tackling a problem.
“I noticed it here when he was looking at my X-rays. He tilts his head. I don’t think he knows he does it,” said Ferko.
Taylor’s hope for the surgery was to remove her pain and restore her full range of motion.
“She is a star patient and a star teacher,” he said.


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