Story on Barrow50 Coincides with Start of Spring Training
As baseball’s spring training begins, Boston Red Sox player Ryan Westmoreland has been selected from thousands of individuals around the world to tell his amazing medical story on a new website, Barrow50.org.
Just two years after undergoing a life saving surgery at Barrow Neurological Institute at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center to remove a deadly malformation in his brain, Westmoreland is participating in his second spring training for the Red Sox.
In 2010 Westmoreland was considered to be the top prospect for the Red Sox when he was diagnosed with a very complex cavernous malformation, an abnormal cluster of blood vessels, which had caused his brain to bleed and was causing paralysis. Westmoreland’s malformation was deadly and was located in his brainstem – the most critical part of the brain which controls all vital life functions.
Westmoreland sought the top brain surgeons in the medical field and selected Robert Spetzler, MD, at Barrow to operate on him. Westmoreland not only survived the surgery, but went on to make a recovery that even doctors have called “remarkable”.
“Becoming a prospect for the Boston Red Sox was a dream come true and when I was diagnosed I was preparing for spring training and every aspect of my game felt better than it ever had,” says Westmoreland, 21. “After surgery, I went from not being able to throw the ball 10 feet to now where I’m pretty much doing everything any other professional baseball player is doing. That is a huge accomplishment for me.”
Barrow Neurological Institute is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2012. Patients like Westmoreland travel from all over the United States and the world for the special neurological expertise available at Barrow. The new interactive website is part of Barrow’s commemorative activities this year. Westmoreland is one of only 50 special patients chosen to be interviewed for the website.
To see Westmoreland’s full interview, visit to Barrow50.org and click on the 50 Years, 50 Faces icon.