Friday, June 27, 2014

A Win-Win Situation

Dear Heart Friends:

This last week "Heart to Heart with Anna" dealt with Sports and Boys with Critical Congenital Heart Defects. We had two excellent dads of sons with hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS) and an adult with HLHS as our Guests. During the Q & A session at the end of the show another HLHS adult and his father called in. It was a terrific show.

It seems that the news is full of discussion about people with congenital heart defects. There was the inspiring story of Hampton goalie Cameron Raidna set to return to the ice after heart surgery, the tearful story of a mom encouraging heart screening for athletes after her son's sudden death, the joyful story of a Briarcrest athlete whosurvived a potentially deadly heart defect who just graduated but the story that has really caught my attention is about an athlete who goes to college just down the road from me at Baylor University. 

It all started with an article about Isaiah Austin when a medical condition ended his dream of being a draft prospect for the National Basketball Association (NBA). I was heartbroken to read that he was diagnosed with Marfan's Syndrome and that his aorta was to weak to continue his dream. He seemed so talented an he had already overcome so much already! During his last season with the Baylor Bears he revealed that he had a prosthetic right eye after multiple operations couldn't repair a detached retina. The eye had been damaged when a previous injury was aggravated doing a routine dunk before a middle school game. 

After the news of his career-ending medical condition came out, he was very forthright and encouraging of his teammates instead of wallowing in his own disappointment. What totally delighted me was this story I read last night about what the NBA did to Isaiah Austin. They honored him during the draft when Commission Adam Silver announced between the 15th and 16th draft picks that the NBA picked Isaiah Austin.  

It was a dream-come-true for Isaiah Austin and it's a win for the NBA, too. After finishing the next two years of school at Baylor, he can start working for the NBA or who knows? Maybe he'll coach for Baylor someday. What appears to be a certainty is that this young man will use his God-given talents to help others. He spoke in such an inspiring way in a recent interview that I have no doubt we'll be hearing from this young man again in the future.

It's not everyday you see a win-win situation like the one created when the NBA picked Isaiah Austin. It's not everyday that people are made aware of the danger of congenital heart defects. It's not everyday that people learn about a syndrome that affects 1 in 5000 people. This week marks some special events in one man's life but who knows who he'll inspire and whose life he just might save by making people aware of congenital heart defects and Marfan Syndrome. God Bless you, Isaiah Austin!


Vicki B said...

just saw this on the news last night. not too long ago, a Seattle Seahawks draft pick was discovered to have have a CHD during his physical, and the Seahawks signed him up anyway, knowing that he could never play, but at least fulfilling this young mans dream. what wonderful things these organizations are doing for these young men. I am certain they will go on to do great things!

Anna Jaworski said...

Thank you for your comment, Vicki. I agree with you. When others act with compassion to help people realize their dreams, I'm sure they will go on to do great things!