Weeks after heart transplant, Red Sox fan to attend Game 2 of World Series Print
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Wednesday, 24 October 2007 12:53
MLB Headline News

 DALLAS (AP) -While waiting for a heart transplant, 13-year-old Andrew Madden and his surgeon talked a lot about the World Series prospects for their favorite team, the Boston Red Sox.
They even talked about somehow making a trip to see a game. Now, about three weeks after successful surgery for a new heart, Andrew is set to go with Dr. Kristine Guleserian and his mother to Fenway Park for Game 2 against the Colorado Rockies on Thursday night.
It started with the Red Sox hat Guleserian gave Andrew for luck as they waited for a donor. Less than a day later, a heart for Andrew had been found.
``Red Sox fans, we believe in this karma stuff,'' said Guleserian, who grew up in Boston.
The two fans became fast friends after Andrew arrived at Children's Medical Center Dallas in August with heart failure.
``It was just kind of a special bond between us,'' said Andrew, a West Texas native who was inspired by the Red Sox when they won the 2004 World Series. It was Boston's first World Series win since 1918, ending a drought linked in baseball lore to a curse on the team that sold Babe Ruth to the rival New York Yankees.
On Thursday morning, they are set to fly to Boston on a plane being provided though the nonprofit Grace Flight of America. When the Red Sox found out about Andrew, they arranged for him, his mom and Guleserian to watch the game from a suite so Andrew will be out of the cool night air, a hospital official said.
The Texas Rangers will give the group a send-off from the airport, with officials giving Andrew several Rangers items. The Rangers are also donating about $15,000 for the fuel for the trip, said Jim Sundberg, executive vice president of communications and public relations.
As a newborn, Andrew was diagnosed with idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy, or an enlarged heart that doesn't pump properly. But with the help of medication, he had few ill effects from his condition growing up and even played baseball on two teams in his hometown of Odessa.
His mother, 35-year-old Lauri Wemmer, said she was told he would either grow out of the condition, survive with medication or end up needing a transplant.
Andrew turned 13 on Aug. 8 and a couple of days later he and his mother went out to try his new golf clubs. Andrew soon grew fatigued on the course, unable to catch his breath. After being admitted to Children's Medical Center, where doctors had followed his case since he was a baby, Wemmer was told her son needed a transplant.
Guleserian said baseball helped provide a distraction to Andrew.
``He was able to focus on something other than being in the hospital,'' said Guleserian, surgical director of cardiac transplantation at Children's and a professor at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.
Andrew and Guleserian began to talk more earnestly about going to Boston if the Red Sox made it to the World Series and Andrew continued to flourish.
``We'll do our part, and the Red Sox just have to keep winning,'' said Guleserian, whose family has season tickets to the Red Sox.
Andrew was discharged from the hospital early last week, but he and his mother will stay in Dallas likely until just before Christmas as Andrew undergoes frequent checkups.
``Right now I feel great,'' said the seventh-grader, who plays catcher, pitcher, third base and outfield. ``I've been running around, playing a lot.''
 

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