Even Year Old Heart Recipient Throws Out Ceremonial First Pitch
Dallas, TX (Thursday, July 2, 2015) - The Grand Prairie Air Hogs Baseball Club and Southwest Transplant Alliance (STA) will celebrate Independence Day together this year in a special Donate Life themed baseball game on Friday, July 3, 2015. Seven-year-old Keegan Harrison is a heart recipient and will throw out the ceremonial first pitch at tomorrow night's game.
Keegan was born in utero with a heart defect known as tetralogy of fallot. Even with early warnings of this defect through a late term sonogram, his condition and symptoms were much more critical once born. Doctors were forced to try and repair this defect when he was just 24 hours of age. Complications from the surgery left Keegan on life support and a heart transplant was his only chance for life. During his first days, and Keegan's condition growing critical by the minute, a donor was found when Keegan was just 7 days old. He was successfully transplanted at Children's Medical Center of Dallas and at the time was one of the youngest and smallest recipients in the country.
"Transplantation is an incredible medical advancement and it saved our son's life. Without the gift that our son's donor provided, he wouldn't be able to throw anything - a baseball or a tantrum!" said Maddie Harrison, Keegan's Mom. "His gift of life is dependent on people saying 'Yes' to donation by signing the donor registry."
Attendees of Friday's Air Hogs game can gain free entry by showing the heart on their Texas drivers license, indicating that they have already signed and said 'Yes' to the donor registry; or can sign-up on the spot to enter the game for free.
"We are honored to have the opportunity to participate in this special opportunity," said Katy White, assistant general manager of the Air Hogs Baseball Club. "Registering is not only life-saving and helps ensure that a person's decision to donate that gift is known, it gives hope to those awaiting a transplant. Providing awareness to this cause is impactful and meaningful to all involved in the Air Hogs Baseball family."
In 2014, almost 740 people became organ donors in Texas, 226 of whom were registered through the state registry. Together, these heroic donors helped save the lives of more than 2,600 people by making more transplants possible in Texas than ever before.
Registering is fast and easy at DonateLifeTexas.org and provides a way for people to make their decision to be an organ and tissue donor known. It also provides legal, first-person authorization for organs and tissue to be donated, which removes the burden of decision-making from the family during an already difficult time.
Donate Life Texas is the only official state donor registry and is a member of the Donate Life America registry network. Joining the registry takes only a few minutes online at DonateLifeTexas.org or can be done conveniently when applying for a Texas state ID card or driver's license. Donation information and resources can also be found on the registry's website.
Keegan is a playful seven year old who lives in Plano with his parents, Maddie and Gray Harrison and his 5 year old sister Audrey.
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