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Baseball Hall of Famer Rod Carew to undergo heart and kidney transplant

Carew threw out the ceremonial first pitch at a Twins game in April. (Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports)


A machine has kept Carew alive since he nearly died of a heart attack 15 months ago. 


Baseball Hall of Famer Rod Carew is preparing to receive a new heart and a kidney transplant, Carew's wife Rhonda confirmed to the American Heart Association News on Thursday.

The new heart is to replace the machine that has kept the former Twins and Angels first baseman alive since Carew suffered a heart attack and went into cardiac arrest while undergoing a procedure to open clogged arteries in September 2015.

The 71-year-old Carew played for the Minnesota Twins and the California Angels from 1967 to 1985. He was a seven-time AL batting champion and was a first-ballot selection to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1991.

After his heart attack, Carew was diagnosed with extreme heart failure with his heart too weak to pump blood to the rest of his body. Doctors implanted into his chest a left ventricular assist device that took over the heart's pumping duties.

The procedure allowed Carew to resume his life and he toured the country last summer to boost awareness and prevention of heart disease. He attended spring training with the Minnesota Twins and appeared at the All-Star Game in San Diego, where the AL batting title was named in his honor.
Rod Carew at an interleague game between the Angels and the Dodgers in May. (Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)

“We appreciate your thoughts and prayers for Rod and the medical team,” wife Rhonda told the AHA. “At the same time, our sympathy and appreciation goes to the donor’s family.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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