Timothy Stone to Celebrate "Home Run for Life" with OKC Dodgers and Integris Health Friday
OKLAHOMA CITY - The Oklahoma City Dodgers and INTEGRIS Health conclude the 2021 "Home Run For Life" series Friday by honoring Timothy Stone of Jenks, Okla., during the Dodgers' 7:05 p.m. ¡Celebración Cielo Azul! game against Round Rock at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark.
Stone had a physically demanding job working on cars and was in excellent shape traveling the country as a competitive bare-knuckle fighter for 20 years. He rarely slowed down, even for several years after being diagnosed at the age of 40 with cardiomyopathy, a disease of the heart that makes pumping blood throughout the body difficult. Then at the age of 49, Stone collapsed while mowing his backyard in Jenks, Okla., and his health quickly spiraled downward starting in March 2015.
Stone would endure multiple surgeries, including five open heart surgeries and a heart transplant at INTEGRIS Baptist Medical Center. He would spend about four months in the hospital in Oklahoma City.
Now almost six years later at the age of 55, Stone is back living life with vigor and new perspective with the goal of helping others facing similar difficult journeys thanks to the care he received at INTEGRIS Health.
"I owe them everything," Stone said of the staff at INTEGRIS Health.
"Life is precious. We have all heard that a million times, but I think we look at it a little differently now."
"Home Run For Life" recognizes individuals in the Oklahoma City community who have overcome a significant medical event with the help of their families, physicians and health care professionals. To symbolize the end of their battle against adversity, honorees take a prerecorded home run "lap" around the bases during an in-game ceremony.
"'Home Run For Life' allows us to uniquely recognize some amazing Oklahomans who have endured significant health challenges," OKC Dodgers President/General Manager Michael Byrnes said. "Each month during the baseball season, we are proud to partner with INTEGRIS Health to honor the perseverance and courage displayed by these individuals and to help inspire others with their incredible stories."
After collapsing in his yard in the spring of 2015, Stone's wife Leslie took him to the hospital in Tulsa. A series of serious health setbacks followed throughout the next five months. Eventually with the right side of his heart shutting down, he was brought to INTEGRIS Baptist Medical Center in Oklahoma City in August 2015.
When he arrived, he faced seemingly insurmountable odds with a prognosis of a five to 10 percent chance of survival without a heart transplant.
He had 12 surgeries, including five open heart surgeries.
He typically weighed around 175 pounds, but in October 2015 was down to about 118 pounds and then came the devastating news that he had about eight days to live.
With three days left and his organs shutting down, he said his goodbyes to his wife and children telling then how much he loved them.
Everything changed on Oct. 29, 2015 when they found a heart that was a perfect match.
The sixth anniversary of his heart transplant is soon approaching and Stone now mentors others going through transplants.
He was fortunate to have the unending support of the INTEGRIS Health staff, his wife Leslie, daughter, son and family throughout his journey back to health, but knows not everyone is so lucky.
"We were blessed to have a lot of great people and a lot of loving people help us along the way," he said.
To read Stone's full story, visit the OKC Dodgers' "Beyond the Bricks" website at: medium.com/beyond-the-bricks.
The Oklahoma City Dodgers will take the field as Cielo Azul de Oklahoma City for their upcoming home series against Los Chupacabras de Round Rock starting Thursday. Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Monday night's games have a scheduled 7:05 p.m. first pitch.
Gates open at 6 p.m. and on Friday, a mystery bobblehead, presented by Lime, will be given out to the first 1,000 fans in attendance. Fireworks are also scheduled to follow Friday's game. During the game, the Clubhouse Collectibles silent auction for game-used OKC Dodgers memorabilia will also take place.
Following Sunday's 2:05 p.m. game, kids can run the bases. Tuesday's 12:05 p.m. series finale falls on a $2 Tuesday, featuring $2 select beer, soda and bottled water from a line of Budweiser and Pepsi products. COOP Ale Works draft beer will also be available at a special rate of $3.
Tickets are available by visiting okcdodgers.com/tickets. For additional information about Cielo Azul de Oklahoma City and the OKC Dodgers' 2021 season, please visit okcdodgers.com or call (405) 218-2182.
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