Boone gives update on son's surgery
Astros, Nats receive news about infielder's aorta replacement
VIERA, Fla. -- As his team took batting practice Saturday morning, Nationals assistant general manager Bob Boone made his way over to the Astros dugout to give manager Cecil Cooper an update on his son, Aaron.
The younger Boone, who underwent open heart surgery on Thursday, is out of intensive care and should be released from the hospital by Tuesday or Wednesday, Bob Boone confirmed.
"He had wires everywhere -- it was a little more serious than they kind of expected," Boone said. "The surgeon told us it's good he did it now."
The surgery involved replacing a section of the aorta and fixing his valve -- "just tightened it up really, so it works perfect," according to the elder Boone. "They rebuilt his valve, which they were hoping to do. The alternative was putting a mechanical valve in there. They really didn't want to do that."
Boone said because his son's heart had grown, the aorta stretched, like a balloon. While the procedure to fix the problem is relatively simple, the consequences if not detected are grave. Actor John Ritter died of a similar affliction -- an aortic dissection.
Boone flew from Florida to California prior to his son's surgery, which took place at the Stanford University Medical Center, then returned to the Nationals spring headquarters Friday evening. He continues to receive updates on his son from his wife, Sue, who remained in California.
"The surgeon said [Aaron] can double his activity every week and then in about a month he'll be able to do some things," Boone said. "He's doing great. He's gotten about a million letters and a million prayers."
As for his son's future as a baseball player, Boone relayed Aaron's thoughts on that topic.
"I think he's got an outside chance of getting back, but he really hasn't thought about that yet," Boone said, adding with a laugh, "He said, 'Let me live first.'"
Alyson Footer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.