8-year-old with heart defect joins youth baseball team – ABC News
All Rebekah Jones wanted was a few hand-me-down baseball uniforms for her son Daniel to wear.
So the Fort Worth, Texas, mother reached out to friends and family via social media to ask whether anyone had any jerseys that might fit the 8-year-old Texas Rangers fan.
Daniel was born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, which means that half of his heart is functioning.
He’s undergone seven surgeries and carries a backpack, which holds an IV pump that continuously delivers a heart failure drug to him as he waits for a transplant.
“Nobody knows how long [it] will be before his heart begins to fail,” Jones told ABC affiliate WFAA-TV recently.
In the meantime, however, Daniel has stocked up on baseball gear and enjoys learning the ins and outs of the game.
When Jones’ social media post reached Todd Collinsworth, a Little League coach also in Fort Worth, he said his first thought was: “I’ll take him.”
Collinsworth said he invited Daniel to join the team, not necessarily to play but to sit in the dugout for an up-close-and-personal take on the game.
But the coach said that when Daniel arrived for his first practice, he was wearing a new helmet, bat and shoes — ready to take to the field. Collinsworth said he and his fellow coaches decided that they would let Daniel play.
“He gets to play baseball, gets to be a kid again. … We’re praying that he comes out on the right side of this thing and is able to take his children to Little League games,” he said. “That’s what we’re believing and we’re hoping.”
ABC affiliate WFAA-TV contributed to this story.