On Tuesday, Travis Shaw was reinstated from the family medical emergency list after his newborn daughter, Ryann, underwent open-heart surgery late last week.
Speaking to reporters after being reinstated, the Milwaukee Brewers’ third baseman revealed the nature of his daughter’s condition, adding that she is now in stable condition.
Read on to learn about Travis Shaw’s newborn daughter.
1. She Suffers From Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS)
Ryann was born with a condition called hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS), a birth defect that affects normal blood flow through the heart. After being reinstated, Travis described the condition to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel as “… a pretty severe heart deformation.” He later said, “We knew this going in and I knew that she was going to have to have surgery.”
According to the CDC, hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS) develops during pregnancy when the left side of a baby’s heart does not form properly and it therefore cannot pump oxygen-rich blood to the body in an efficient manner. It’s estimated that 1 out of every 4,344 babies born in the US each year have HLHS, and a number of treatments are administered to those affected by the disease. The condition is diagnosed during pregnancy or soon after birth, and can be treated with medicine, nutrition, or surgery.
The CDC writes that multiple surgeries are typically done after the birth of a baby with HLHS to increase blood flow to the body. The first surgery is often done in the first two weeks of a child’s life, and the second often takes place between ages 4-6 months. The third part of the surgery tends to happen when an infant in between 1.5 and 3 years old. While these surgeries do not cure HLHS, they are effective at restoring heart function.
2. Ryann Underwent Open-Heart Surgeries Friday and Saturday
On Friday, Shaw’s newborn daughter underwent open-heart surgery. She had to have another surgery on Saturday because of complications, according to ABC News, but is now making “steady progress,” according to Shaw.
Shaw explained to the Journal Sentinel that Ryann’s situation has given him a new perspective on life and baseball. “It became really real this last week,” he says. “There’s a lot more important things than just baseball. I tried to block it out as much as I could until it happened, but now it’s here and it’s going to be hard.”
3. Shaw Raved About Ryann’s Care at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin & Said it Was ‘Fate’ That He Was Traded to the Brewers
Ryann is a patient at the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, which Shaw has praised for its commitment to taking care of his daughter. Ryann was operated on by Viktor Hraska, the medical director of cardiothoracic surgery in the children’s devision, and Shaw has been vocal in his gratitude to the surgeon and his team. He tells the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, “Ten years ago, 15 years ago, she probably wouldn’t have made it, but medicine has advanced.”
Speaking to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel about how his family came to choose that particular hospital, Shaw explains that he owes it to the fact that he was traded from the Boston Red Sox to the Milwaukee Brewers. “It just kind of fell into our lap when we started looking at this in January, where we were going to go.” He later added on, “Kind of fate, a little bit, getting traded here and having this fall right into our laps.”
The Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin is ranked as the #4 best children’s hospital in the USA by a recent Parents Magazine ranking. It is ranked #5 for Heart Surgery and Cardiology, according to a US News & World Report.
4. Shaw Was Reinstated From the Family Medical Emergency List Tuesday
Shaw left the team on paternity leave after Ryann’s birth, but soon after returning he had to leave once again to attend to his daughter’s medical needs. He and his wife, Lindy, learned about Ryann’s condition in January– approximately a month after he was traded to the Brewers.
Shaw rejoined the Milkwaukee Brewers on Tuesday after spending five days on the family medical emergency list. He entered tonight’s doubleheader against St. Louis with a .298 average, 10 home runs and 42 RBIs. Shaw’s father, Jeffrey Lee Shaw, is a former MLB player as well, and played for the Cleveland Indians and Chicago White Sox.
5. Shaw Says His Daughter Will Likely Undergo More Surgeries in the Future
After revealing the name of his daughter’s condition when he was reinstated, Shaw said that more surgeries are expected in the future.
Surgery does not cure infants born with HLHS– patients are almost always required to regularly follow up with a cardiologist to ensure their heart does not weaken after surgery.
The Brewers have acknowledged that they are happy to have Shaw back on board. The team’s manager, Craig Counsell, tells the MJS:
Travis has had a difficult week. A great week in the sense that it’s the birth of your first child and then a difficult week with some health issues with the newborn. He’s back and he’s happy to be back, I think. It’s normalcy and being able to get the health of his daughter to the point where he’s comfortable being here, and we’re ecstatic to have him back and in good spirits.