Haven Kirby – Patient Story

“I was terrified. I was scared I might lose my scholarship, nervous for what was ahead of me, but Dr. Stanford gave me the confidence I needed. He made me feel hopeful I would be 100% by the time I got here & I made it… I am here!” — Haven Kirby, patient of Dr. Stanford

Haven Kirby was an Elkmont High School student-athlete, enjoying what many say is the best school year of your life: her senior year.  So many exciting things had already transpired, but the highlight was when she was offered a softball scholarship to the University of North Alabama in Florence. She was looking so forward to taking that next step and bringing her softball career to the next level. She had verbally committed to the Lions, but not yet signed.

The date was November 13, 2019 and only 3 minutes into Haven’s first basketball game, something went wrong.  Haven was attempting a layup when her defender was going for a block and accidentally pushed Haven. Haven then fell on her right leg and heard a “pop”.  She had hyperextended her knee and could not get back up. She was in excruciating pain and knew something terrible had happened.  “The Ardmore Athletic Trainer was at our game that night, and helped me. I was terrified.”

The next day, Haven had an appointment with Dr. Eric Stanford.  An MRI was scheduled and revealed a gruesome injury.  Haven had torn her ACL to shreds, and torn her meniscus and MCL. Surgery was scheduled for November 22, the day before Thanksgiving.  That day couldn’t get here fast enough for Haven.  “I was in so much pain—it felt like the day of surgery was taking forever to get here!”

The surgery was a great success for both Haven and Dr. Stanford.  After completing four months of therapy, she was fully released in April to play sports.  Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic had come, along with several restrictions for Haven.  But she adjusted.  During the summer months, she eased back into travel softball to build stamina prior to starting at the University of North Alabama this fall. A little fun fact—Haven had verbally committed to UNA prior to her accident, but actually signed after her surgery. She credits Dr. Stanford for her great success.


Eric Stanford, DO | The Orthopaedic Center | Athens, ALDr. Eric Stanford is a member of the Athens TOC Sports Medicine team and is the team physician for many schools across Limestone County and Athens City.  He also specializes in the treatment of Joint Replacement, Regenerative Medicine and General Orthopaedics. Dr. Stanford brings his expertise and care to the TOC Athens, Rogersville and Winfield locations.

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