Baseball hall of famer Rod Carew underwent successful heart and kidney transplant surgery Friday in Los Angeles.
Carew's wife, Rhonda, told the American Heart Association News that Carew underwent the 13-hour procedure — which began around midnight Pacific time — and now has "been given another chance at life."
“We are overwhelmed with emotions right now – joy, relief, excitement and especially gratitude for all the doctors and nurses who have been with us at every step in this journey, and to the donor who made this possible,” Rhonda said. “Rod knows he’s been given another chance at life and we look forward to making the most of it.”
The Minnesota Twins sent out a statement updating the condition of the 71-year-old Carew, who played 12 of his 19 MLB seasons in the Twin Cities.
"The entire Minnesota Twins family is happy to report that Rod Carew had a successful heart and kidney transplant surgery today at Cedar-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles and is expected to make a full recovery," the statement read. "Rod is resting in recovery. We ask that all of Twins Territory and the entire baseball community keep Rod, his wife Rhonda and the entire Carew family in your thoughts and prayers as Rod recovers."
Carew suffered a heart attack in September 2015, and subsequently had a pacemaker installed. He received the kidney transplant Friday to increase his chances of a full recovery from the heart transplant. After surviving that heart attack, Carew had become an ardent supporter of the American Heart Association, heading up the Heart of 29 (his jersey number) fund-raising campaign for the organization.
Carew, who won seven AL batting titles, retired after the 1985 season. An 18-time All-Star and the 1977 AL MVP, the infielder finished his career with 3,053 hits and a slash line of 328/.393/.429. He entered the Hall of Fame on the first ballot.