A patient and a promise. A little boy fighting for his life when all he wants to do is play. And a baseball player who says every time he's at work, he promises to think about his new little friend. The surgery, the treatment and the care helped Drew get better. A visit from his favorite Cubs player continues to make him feel better.
He's a natural. Drew Boedigheimer loves to play baseball.
spring training games. We had season tickets, and we always stay past the seventh inning stretch."
Fifty-five major league games later and the kid knows his stuff.
Drew Boedigheimer: "Jose Bautista!"
Todd Boedigheimer: "That is Jose Bautista. Good job."
He can rattle off random names on a roster with ease, but there's one player who stands out.
Todd Boedigheimer: "Who's your favorite Cubbie?"
Drew Boedigheimer: "Darwin Barney."
From the time he was born, Drew was destined to love two things -- his parents alma mater, the Oregon State Beavers, and the game baseball. But as he aged, he wasn't able to keep up with other toddlers at play.
Todd Boedigheimer: "He wasn't running, he wasn't jumping."
Doctors told Todd and Tara their son had a heart defect called restrictive cardiomyopathy. The two-and-a-half-year old needed a heart transplant.
Todd Boedigheimer: "It was a big blow, a shocking blow."
So they left their home in Arizona and brought Drew to Children's Memorial Hospital.
Todd Boedigheimer: "We landed in Chicago on May 15, we got admitted on May 19 and Drew received his heart on May 26."
The transplant went smoothly
then, a set back.
Todd Boedigheimer: "About five days later he suffered a stroke, and we were terrified. The amazing thing there are neurologists at Children's who are amazed at Drew's recovery from that."
With the worst behind them, Drew's caregivers wanted to give their star patient the all-star treatment. So the hospital reached out to this man -- rookie Cubs second baseman, Darwin Barney who shares a special connection with the Boedigheimers.
Todd Boedigheimer: "Darwin grew up in the Portland area. All three of us went to Oregon State at different times, and kind of the real neat thing is we had the chance to go to the college World Series, of which Darwin has the two championships from."
Darwin Barney, Cubs 2B: "I really didn't know what I was getting into. I knew they were Oregon State alum so that made my decision easier."
Darwin Barney: "It took a little while to warm up. Fifteen minutes into it, I just remember his smile and we were playing catch and he was so strong and you could see he had it in him to make a full recovery."
And long after he recovers, Drew likely won't forget the time he spent with his new favorite player. A signed ball, a couple of jerseys and a message from number 15 will always stay close to his new heart.
Darwin Barney: "I'm very lucky and fortunate to be where I'm at and I know that so I'm going to take the opportunities I can to help people who want the help or want my company for some reason."
Todd Boedigheimer: "I think there's going to be a special part for the Cubs in all of our lives."
Heart Transplant Patient Gets Special Visit
Medical Watch: Heart Transplant Patient Gets Special Visit
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