Meet Individuals Affected by a Heart Condition
You will meet many incredible celebrity athletes at our events, but you will also meet numerous children with heart conditions who have just as much courage. After meeting them and their families and hearing their stories, you will get a better appreciation for how much your support and contributions can change and even save a life.
Lyndsey Klein is one of Athletes for Hearts biggest supporters. This foundation is "close to her heart" for a very special reason. As a young female athlete and elite fastpitch softball player, Lyndsey underwent three heart surgeries. Despite being diagnosed with the condition tachycardia, defined as excessive rapidity in the action of the heart (a heart rate of over 135 beats per minute), Klein in her second year of college had already managed to overcome two heart surgeries and earn the starting role as UCLA's dynamic and powerhouse second baseman.
On May 10, 1999, in the middle of her college softball career, Klein again found herself on the operating table. Just five days later on May 15, 1999, Klein was right back on the softball field. It is no wonder Klein has been tagged as having the "heart of a champion".
Klein became an All American at UCLA and she is still the UCLA Career Leader in doubles. She became an NCAA WCWS Champion in 1999 and was a USA Softball World Champion in 2002. She went on to play professional softball for the NY/NJ Juggernauts and became an NPF Champion in 2004. To read more about Lyndsey click here.
Jozie is an adorable 7 year old girl with a British accent like her mothers. She was happy and healthy growing up in Orlando. Then one day she went to the local hospital for severe stomach pain. She was diagnosed with Dilated Cardiomyopathy and came to All Children's Hospital for evaluation by Dr. Asante-Korang. Her cardiac function did not improve despite intraveneous medications. After discussions between her parents and the doctors, Jozie was listed to wait for a heart transplant. We are all so grateful that thanks to the generosity of a family, who in their time of grief and loss of their child, was able to donate their child's heart. Now Jozie not only lives, but thrives thanks to this tremendous gift of a new heart. Jozie and her family are supporting “Softball for Hearts” and participated in a video for the event. Many needs of our patients are not covered by insurance and this event will help other cardiac families in need.
Shovon was born with half a heart. He required major open heart surgery as a baby. He has had several other heart surgeries. Shovon’s Mom helps him keep it all in perspective. This 14 year old attends school, is active in his church, and tries to keep up with his big brother. Shovon and his mom belong to a support group called “Mended Little Hearts”. Shovon is always happy to talk with other kids with heart problems and help them realize that they are not alone. One out of every 100 children born anywhere in the world has a heart problem. Shovon's familiy feels lucky that they can receive all the cardiac care they need at All Children's Hospital. Shovon says “Come join us for the Softball for Hearts event!”
John-Taylor is a 16 year old boy that the All Children's Cardiac Team has followed since birth. He was born with a very stenotic aortic heart valve which required urgent intervention as an infant. He has been able to grow up with only occasional hosptializations for a few heart surgeries until now. John-Taylor’s heart is now failing and he has been hospitalized at All Children’s Hospital for over 5 months on medications and cardiac monitors waiting for a heart transplant. Although the wait has been frustrating, John-Taylor still graciously shares his sense of humor and spars with the hospital staff. It has been tough on him and his family to be hospitalized for so long, but they maintain a positive attitude. They support Softball for Hearts and hope you will too. All the funds raised will help the many pediatric cardiac patients like John-Taylor, Jozie, and Shovon.