Through a partnership between the St. Louis Cardinals and Mid-America Transplant, six-year-old Landrey Crafton, of Kennett, Mo., had the experience of a lifetime last Saturday when she had the opportunity to throw the first pitch for the Cardinals. game at Busch Stadium in St. Louis.
Landrey was very excited talking about how it felt to step out in front of such a large crowd.
“It was so cool, but I completely quit because I was so nervous,” she laughed. “My mind was blown and nearly exploded.”
“My Poppy told me there were four times as many people in the stands as in Kennett, where I live, but I did it,” Landrey continued proudly. “I got up in front of what looked like at least 4,000 people and did it. I kicked the ball out.”
If only she had known how many people were actually there, as the stadium has a capacity of more than 10 times its estimated number.
So how did this adorable little girl with blonde pigtails get to the pitcher’s mound at a major league baseball game?
Well, like all fairy tales, her story began a long time ago… well, six years ago to be more precise, when Landrey was born on January 11, 2016. Unfortunately, she was born with a disease rare liver disease called biliary atresia.
According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) website, biliary atresia is a condition in infants that scars and blocks the bile ducts outside and inside the liver, preventing bile from flowing into the gut and causing bile to build up in the liver, which causes damage that leads to scarring, loss of liver tissue and function, and cirrhosis.
Her parents, Jake and Lindsey Crafton, recognized the signs of the disease before they even knew what it was.
According to Lindsey, Landrey was exhibiting unusual symptoms she hadn’t seen with her first two children, Landrey’s older sister, Layla, and brother, Lennox, such as white stools and excessive sleep.
However, Landrey’s pediatrician at the time told them she was sleeping well and not to be too worried, but her symptoms were still persisting and their baby was sleeping around 23 hours a day.
“I knew something was wrong, I could feel it,” Lindsey continued, saying it was when, quite by chance, she took one of her other children to a pediatrician in St. Bernards in Jonesboro, and the doctor noticed Landrey.
“Fortunately Dr. Buxton noticed her color was off and decided to do some testing,” Lindsey said. “That night we got a call to be at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital in Memphis the next day.”
After several tests, the Happiness doctors told them Landrey would need a transplant, but Lindsey said they still had to go through the registration process to become a transplant candidate and find a donor.
According to the US Department of Health and Human Services website, if a patient has an illness that could lead to organ failure, a doctor may recommend an organ transplant. However, to become a transplant candidate, the patient must be evaluated and accepted by a transplant hospital.
After some research, Lindsey said they decided to try St. Louis Children’s Hospital, where Landrey was accepted.
Nine months after the day of her birth, September 11, 2016, little Landrey finally received her transplant.
Lindsey said she still remembers how yellow her eyes were before the transplant due to high bilirubin, commonly known as jaundice, and then how white her eyes were after the procedure.
With no way of knowing the additional challenges they would face, Jake had just completed a term as mayor of Kennett in 2015, having decided to take a break from politics to enjoy his young family. Now that the kids are older, Jake is running for mayor again in the next election.
Lindsey, who had been a speech therapist until 2010, left that job to help her husband with the books for their business, Mechanical Right of Way Equipment Company.
Although Landrey did well, Lindsey said they needed to continue monitoring her condition as it could cause other issues such as diabetes and peanut allergies.
She has a peanut allergy, but she is lucky because she has not yet developed any other health complications. In fact, she is a normal freshman and takes pride in being one of the tallest in her class, which may be due to the supplements she has to take every day.
The family has a lot to celebrate as next Sunday will be his six-year “liver versary”, as Landrey’s mother called it.
According to his mother, Landrey had the opportunity to throw the first pitch, by an unusual twist of fate, when the family attended their first-ever Cardinals game in June for Lennox’s birthday.
Lindsey said they came across a Mid-America Transplant tent, which was the transplant company that helped save Landrey’s life nearly six years prior.
While touring the tent, Lindsey said she met a woman named Karen Spector, manager of communications and executive support at Mid-America Transplant.
After speaking with the woman for a little while, they discovered that Spector was from Hornersville, Mo., a town about 20 minutes from theirs.
After taking a few pictures, they continued on their day.
It turned out, however, that Spector wasn’t the only one in the business from “their little corner of the country,” as was Mid-America Transplant CEO Diane Brockmeier.
As fate would have it, Brockmeier was also from the Kennett area, and according to Mid-America Transplant’s communications company ongoing partnership manager Maggie Donnelly, this paved the way for this opportunity through a partnership between the Cardinals and Mid-America Transplant.
Lindsey said that a few weeks after her son’s birthday, she received an unexpected phone call and invitation to the August 26 game, where Landrey came out on the field and threw her first pitch, which was caught by the one of the St. Louis players. The Cardinals’ newest recruit, No. 33, Brendan Donovan, who made his Major League Baseball debut this year.
If the day wasn’t amazing enough, Lindsey said that by sheer coincidence, the St. Louis cheerleaders asked for a volunteer from the audience to help announce the starting lineup and Lindsey’s brother, Lennox. , raised his hand enthusiastically.
“It was the most surreal day, the girls invited us to the announcers’ booth where he also got to help announce the starting lineup.”
- Bookkeeper360 launches a new market | PYMNTS.com
- In-depth analysis of the payroll and accounting services market with
- Coverage of Global Payroll and Accounting Services Market Research Report, Future Trends, Past and Present Data, and In-Depth Analysis 2021-2028 – Byron Review
- Zeni receives $ 34 million in funding for AI bookkeeping and accounting