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The score was one to zero. The crowd reached 35,205. And, Pedro was “on fire” with 74 strikes. It was the statistical recipe for a perfect baseball outing at Fenway Park on June 8. But when consulting three special fans, it wasn’t the box score, the rumble of the bleachers, or the ace pitcher’s fastball that wowed them. They were just happy to be enjoying a beautiful evening outside.
Patients Ronald Osofsky, David Hart and Deborah Duquette have spent a combined near 300 days on the eighth floor of BWH’s Tower waiting and preparing for a heart transplant. A night at Fenway Park was a welcome opportunity to take their minds off their medical journey and build excitement for new lives ahead, ones that they hope may be filled with many more baseball games. But currently, their diseased hearts have left these patients limited from many activities. They can only leave the floor when closely monitored by nursing staff. “Attending the game opened so many doors for me,” said Duquette. “I was scared to leave the hospital at first, but I overcame my fear. I thought I would have to miss my granddaughter’s christening in July, but after making it through the game on Tuesday and feeling so well, I think I found the courage I needed.”The memorable trip to the ball game was made possible through tickets donated by Hill Holiday, whose chairman, Jack Connors is a leading BWH benefactor. Transportation was arranged through BWH security and AMR. A team of doctors, nurses and social workers made special preparations to organize equipment, including mobilizing all three patients’ ventricular assist devices – the life-saving machines that pump blood for them as an in-patient or a baseball fan visiting the green monster. “It was a very special evening and I am thankful to all the dedicated hospital staff who transformed a ball game into a magical evening for these patients awaiting transplants,” said cardiac surgeon Greg Couper, MD, who accompanied the patients to Fenway along with nurses Joan Dorr and Lynda Lynch. Social worker Christine Dolan made the arrangements. “It just happened to be a bonus that the Sox pulled off the win against the Padres, because regardless of the score, these three patients’ first trip to Fenway was a night we’ll all never forget,” said Couper.