Greer Cofield has been taking horseback riding lessons for almost 3 years when her life took an unexpected turn. On October 8, 2012, while walking with her mother, Shannon, in search of her favorite horse, they were charged by another horse. Before anyone knew what happened, her mother, Shannon, and Greer were both on the ground. The charging horse had reared up with his hind legs and kicked out at the pair, striking them both. Greer took the brunt of the blow, resulting in a laceration from the right side of her forehead to her ear, the right side of her face was crushed and she was unconscious. Realizing what had happened, Shannon called 9-1-1 and within minutes a LifeForce medical helicopter landed in an adjacent field and brought Greer to Children’s Hospital at Erlanger. The next day, Greer had reconstructive surgery to repair damage to her skull and facial bones as well as plastic surgery to repair the injuries to her skin. After only 11 days in the PICU and on the 3rd floor, Greer was released to go home with the ability to walk, talk and function almost as well as she did prior to the accident.
In the 5 years since Greer’s horrific accident, she and her family have been staunch supporters of Children’s Hospital at Erlanger. The Cofields take every opportunity to tell people about their miraculous experience and the care they received from Children’s. Greer regularly makes appearances to thank corporate sponsors who support Children’s Hospital at Erlanger as a part of our Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals affiliation. Most recently, Greer was the honored patient guest at our 2018 Believe Bash gala where her story was told via video for the crowd to learn of her accident and recovery. Greer partnered with Children’s Hospital at Erlanger Chief Executive Officer, Don Mueller, to motivate the crowd to give more than $43,000 in donations in less than 10 minutes.
Children’s Hospital at Erlanger serves kids like Greer every day across a 50,000 square mile area and does so in a 45-year-old facility. In 2016, Erlanger and community leadership launched the Believe Campaign to raise $40 million in support needed begin a three phase approach to building a brand new pediatric hospital for Chattanooga and the surrounding area. As we seek to complete the first phase of this effort, the Children’s Hospital Outpatient Center, we hope Greer’s story will inspire you to give and get involved and make this dream for our community’s kids a reality.