March 18, 2009

I Hate To See This Sort Of Thing


KISSIMMEE, Fla. – Aaron Boone of the Houston Astros will have open heart surgery to replace an aortic valve.

Boone made the announcement Wednesday, saying he has known about his heart condition since college but tests done after his routine physical determined he needed surgery. It is not an emergency, but doctors indicated the procedure was needed.

He said doctors told him he could play baseball when he recovers, but he's not sure if he will.

An emotional Boone delivered the news flanked by general manager Ed Wade and manager Cecil Cooper and in front of a somber room filled with teammates and Astros officials.

"It definitely hits home, but I'm doing well with it," Boone said. "I feel like I'm fairly educated on it now. I have a strong faith and a great family and friends and teammates. I really am doing well and I'm ready to tackle this thing and get it behind me and get on with life."

Wade said a local doctor who did the team physicals and team doctor Jim Muntz worked together to conduct tests on Boone because they knew of his condition.

"Unfortunately the test results came out indicating there was an acceleration of the condition that Aaron has been dealing with for a number of years," Wade said.

He has a bicuspid aortic valve, a congenital defect where the valve has only two cusps to manage the flow of blood through the heart, as opposed to the normal three. The surgery has not been scheduled, but Boone expects to set a date for the procedure later this week.

Cooper rubbed Boone's back as he expressed his concern for the player.

"As a baseball family we're here to support Aaron, as you can see by all the teammates and front office personnel we have here," Cooper said. "And anything he needs we're going to be there to help him out."

Boone played for the Nats last year and got traded to the Astros in the off-season, so while this kind of news is rotten for anyone, there's a bit of an extra tug here.

God speed, Aaron.

Posted by Robert at March 18, 2009 11:30 AM | TrackBack

And I appreciate his 11th inning home run in the 2003 ALCS. Get well soon.

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