TRESTON DESHIELDS: Hitting home with his heart

A life of an athlete consists of endless injuries. A cut, scratch, sprained ankle or even a broken arm. But being born with more than just an injury is what sophomore Treston DeShields has dealt with ever since he was born.

Transposition of the greater vessels is a medical term DeShields has been familiar with his entire life. This condition prohibited his heart from pumping oxygen, causing his chances of living to be very slim.

At three days of age, DeShields was sent to UC San Francisco to conduct a surgery known as transmission of greater vessels.  Despite his condition, he explains serendipity was by his side. “The doctor performing my surgery just happened to be in San Francisco,” he said.

DeShields says that considering the chances of survival, he feels fortunate to be alive today. “I wouldn’t have made it, if he wasn’t there.”

Fortunately, his surgery was successfully performed, and he was sent home within a month. “It was a risky surgery. A lot of kids with the same condition didn’t make it,” he said.

As he began playing baseball at four years of age, his condition has not affected him in any way. DeShields still sees his doctors to check that everything is under control. Because of his condition, DeShields is one of the many kids that are part of an organization called Build My Heart. He receives the opportunity to attend baseball games and meet professional baseball players. “I’ve met Javier Lopez and Sergio Romo,” he said, speaking about the two San Francisco Giants players.

While meeting Lopez, DeShields found out he also had a heart surgery.

“Meeting him made me realize I can do whatever I want, there’s no limitation.”