The Rachel Cooper Pediatric Heart Center The Rachel Cooper Foundation. Providing life saving Heart Surgery at the Rachel Cooper Heart Center at Montefiore.   Saving lives one child at a time.  
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Rachel's Story

Rachel Cooper was born on November 18, 1974 as a beautiful and healthy child. At only 2 weeks old, however, she was diagnosed as having a hole in her heart. The joy of the arrival of a new born baby was suddenly tempered by the need for special care and attention to an infant with congenital heart disease. Within the next few weeks she also developed hemangiomas (birthmarks) on the side of her face, on her lip and in her windpipe which obstructed her ability to breathe properly. When Rachel was two months old, the doctors at Montefiore Hospital performed a tracheotomy which saved her life. In spite of this difficult beginning, she flourished and established the foundation for her short life.

Rachel faced a series of setbacks throughout the years, which required frequent emergency treatment and repeated hospitalization at Montefiore. This did not stop her from facing life with enthusiasm and a strong desire to succeed, which was apparent in everything she set out to accomplish. She took ballet and jazz lessons and participated in dance recitals. She enjoyed tennis and swimming lessons. She decided to enter a mini-marathon and spent weeks practicing. She also enjoyed simply spending time with her many young friends.

On June 24, 1987 Rachel was taken from all who dearly loved her. Her death was sudden and shattering, leaving all her family members, parents Joan and Alan Fierstein, her brother Howard and her sister Jodi and all of her friends with an enormous feeling of emptiness.

Rachel was a lively and caring child who brought joy and happiness to everyone who knew her. Although her presence is deeply missed, we take strength from having known this courageous, optimistic, and determined youngster.

In an effort to help prevent others from suffering the agony of losing a child and to perpetuate Rachelís name and the light she brought to the world, her parents, family and friends established the Rachel Cooper Foundation for Pediatric Cardiology.


The Rachel Cooper Pediatric Heart Center is located in the Childrenís Hospital at Montefiore (CHAM).

When Rachel Cooper was just two months old, the doctors at Montefiore performed a tracheotomy, which saved her life. It seems appropriate, then, that the Foundation established in her name would affiliate with Montefiore Medical Center.

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