Student: Laura Ann Cooney, 14, of...


January 24, 1994|By Kevin Harrison

Student: Laura Ann Cooney, 14, of Southgate


For Laura Cooney, just starting her first year at Old Mill High School was quite an accomplishment.

That's because she had heart surgery in August, barely a month before school began, to repair a hole between the two chambers of her heart.

The surgery meant she couldn't play field hockey in the fall, as she had planned, but Laura maintained her commitment to sports by becoming the team's manager. Now, with her recovery complete, she's on the junior varsity girls' basketball team.

"I've been playing sports since I was 5 -- softball, basketball, soccer," she said. "And I've been playing field hockey since the fifth grade. Finding out I needed surgery was a real shock. I don't ever want to go through anything like that again."

But there's more to Laura than sports.

She holds a 3.8 grade point average, and in her spare time she reads mysteries and suspense novels and plays the flute.

For the past 1 1/2 years she has volunteered in the pediatric unit at North Arundel Hospital in Glen Burnie.

Laura decided to volunteer because her mother worked at the hospital "and it sounded really interesting."

"I want to go into the medical field, and I felt it would give me a good background," she said. "Usually I run errands for the nurses, and sometimes I sit with the kids so their parents can get dinner and take a break."

Her immediate goal is to earn membership in the National Honor Society next year. Only 10th-graders qualify for that honor.

Student's Comment: "I want to go to medical school definitely, but what I'll study is a hard choice. I started volunteering at the hospital, so that no matter what area of medicine I choose, I won't be shocked by what I see because I've spent time at the hospital."

"Student Spotlight" is compiled by Kevin Harrison. To contact him with suggestions or recommendations for this feature, call the Anne Arundel Bureau at 315-8911 or fax the information to 315-8916; or mail suggestions to: The Sun For Anne Arundel, 8131 Ritchie Highway, Pasadena, Md. 21122.

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