Rod Carew, one of the greatest Twins and overall baseball players of all time, revealed Monday that he has been recovering from a massive heart attack he suffered in September. The reason you hadn’t heard about this before now is, unfortunately, not because this was a minor incident. This was a very serious incident, and it is not yet over. Rod Carew is now waiting for a heart transplant.
A very private man, Carew decided to share his story with Sports Illustrated and the American Heart Association now because his condition has become more stable, and also because he wants to warn others about what happened to him. "He wants to tell people he thought he was healthy and he wasn’t," Rod’s wife Rhonda told the AHA. "He’s chomping at the bit to start sharing that message anywhere and everywhere."
Rodney suffered the heart attack while golfing in southern California on September 20th. He told Sports Illustrated about the incident:
It was 11 days before his 70th birthday. Stepping off that tee box, Carew suddenly felt his chest burn and his hands go clammy. Retreating to the clubhouse, he lay on the floor and asked a woman there to call a paramedic. "The next thing I saw was a man with paddles in his hands," Carew says. "He was yelling, ‘We’re losing him! We can’t lose him!’ Then I blacked out."
When he woke in the emergency room at Riverside Community Hospital—to more paddles and more shouts of "Don’t lose him!"—Carew closed his eyes again. "I decided to go to sleep," he says softly. "And I didn’t know if I’d wake up."
Doctors told Carew he is very lucky to be alive. His heart stopped twice in the emergency room. Since then, Carew has been in and out of hospitals recovering from the ordeal. He underwent 6 hours of open heart surgery to have a Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD) implanted in his chest to help his heart pump blood while he waits for a transplant.
The only red flag doctors found before the heart attack was Rod’s high cholesterol. Rod still anticipates coming to TwinsFest next January and to Spring Training.
Get well soon, Rod Carew.