Gardner meets with transplant survivor

June 12, 2009 5:14:16 PM PDT
There was a heartfelt reunion Friday between a Yankees player and a teenager who just received a life-saving transplant. They first met in May and say that encounter changed both their lives.

Centerfielder Brett Gardner on Friday visited 18-year-old heart-transplant recipient Alyssa at NewYork-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital.

The two met on May 15, during an event at the Hospital organized by Project Sunshine, a nonprofit organization whose volunteers visit children facing medical challenges.

Alyssa, who had been waiting 107 days for her transplant, gave Gardner a bracelet, telling him that if he held onto it, he would hit a home run.

Hours later, Gardner hit the first inside-the-park home run by a Yankees player in nearly 10 years.

Following the game, Gardner recounted his earlier visit to the hospital and attributed his home run to the lucky bracelet.

The next morning, Alyssa received a successful transplant.


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