He had a heart attack as an infant and open-heart surgery as a 13-year-old. Now he’s ready to play baseball again.
13-year-old Britton Helmuth is a passionate baseball player who almost saw his career disappear. As an infant he had a heart attack that required surgery. He recovered from that but then found his heart was weakening due to a leaky valve that needed replaced.
If he had gotten an artificial replacement, he would have had to have taken blood thinners, which would have ended his baseball career.
He got a living heart valve instead from another person and two months later he is ready to get back to the diamond.
He had help along the way. His grandfather had recently recovered from heart surgery as well, and Britton was happy to take his advice.
“I knew my grandpa had had heart surgery before,” Britton said. “I wanted the tubes out, but I was afraid of what that would feel like, but my grandpa was there to tell me I’d feel a lot better once I got them out, he was right.”
Britton’s grandpa also made sure he would not go home from the hospital without a celebration.
Yeah, that night, my grandpa said, ‘As soon as you come home, I’m going to cook you up a big steak.'” Britton said. “We came back to my grandpa’s house, and we had steak.”
Now fully recovered, Britton has his eye on April and the start of baseball season. It will be his first chance to see “If things are any different” in his game.
He and his family have high hopes for his baseball career. They hope he can win a scholarship as a pitcher, but he’s not ready to put his sights on the Major Leagues quite yet. Britton said he’d be interested in giving medical school a shot first. Either way, he and his family are happy Britton has the chance.