Life can take people on wildy curving paths with many stops along the way.
Erin Steffe's path has made two stops at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP).
When Steffe was born prematurely, she suffered from a rare heart condition called Tetralogy of Fallot. According to Mayo Clinic, the disease causes oxygen-poor blood to flow out of the heart and throughout the body and affects fewer than 20,000 people in the United States each year. Steffe had to have open-heart surgery when she was only three months old at CHOP.
Ever since then, Steffe — and her doctors — say her heart has been perfectly fine.
Almost two decades later, during her freshman year at Temple University, she learned of an internship at the urology department at CHOP. She interviewed, was hired, and has been working there since June 2017.
One of her primary duties at CHOP is to edit raw nine-hour surgical footage into 15-minute "game films," as she calls them.
"They look at that footage before they do a new surgery," Steffe said. "And they said, 'This is what we did right, this is what we did wrong, we can be faster at this, we could do that a little bit better.' It's for their analysis."
After more than a year-and-a-half working for CHOP, it's become much easier for Steffe to cut down the raw footage.
"I always jump around the footage," she said. "People find it funny. I'll be watching a surgery scene, TV show, or YouTube, and I'll be like, 'Oh yeah, they're adding a suture here. Now they're narrowing the bladder next.' So I've totally got it down. When I first came in, the doctor said that I would know this surgery in-and-out and would be able to do it! I can look at a surgery and know what I'm looking at."
This past fall, she worked in the marketing department at CHOP as a video production intern. There, she worked on a film about the formerly conjoined-at-birth Delaney twins which will be released in February.
While she has no recollection of her experience at CHOP when she was a newborn, she is happy to give back to the hospital and help kids have the life that she has.
Most of the life she has revolves around sports. Steffe also currently works for TUTV's OwlSports Update as a producer, for the Philadelphia Phillies as a PhanaVision operator and for Temple Football as a recruiting intern.
She became a producer for OwlSports Update in November 2017. Her experiences have so far been everything she could have wanted, with a piece on Temple Football's blood drive even being featured on ESPNU.
"I love being able to work with people," she said. "I get to meet new friends and people who help each other and further their career. I've had people say, 'There's this internship, are you interested?' It's really cool to build and network as well. It's a ton of fun. We learn a lot."
Her path to working with the Phillies shares a small parallel to her experience with CHOP.
In 2004, Steffe's kidneys failed. She spent a month in the hospital before coming home where her kidneys suddenly were fine again. Doctors described it as a medical miracle.
The day she got home from the hospital, she received a package from the Phillies. It contained her first Phillies hat, trading cards, and stickers. After that, her goal was to work for the team, which she has since accomplished.
She joined Temple Football as a recruiting intern the season former head coach Geoff Collins took over, and she developed personal relationships with members of the team. Her work contributed to 29 recruitments for the 2018 season.
Steffe said those personal relationships are something of a theme in her life and career so far.
"Of course, these things are giving me a lot of great skills for the future and a lot of great connections," she said."I'm very blessed to have that, and to develop friendships along the way and good relationships that will help you in the future is very rewarding."
She is set to graduate in December 2019, and if you asked her two years ago what she wanted to do when she graduates, she would have answered with working for NFL Films. Now, she would be thrilled with being a video or sports producer.
Steffe's life path has been full of curves. Where will the journey take her next?
"The things that you have in the past always seem to connect again in the future," she said.