Playing With Heart
In a night of t-ball in Fulton, nobody is keeping track of the hits or runs. And anything but errors.
"We get a lot of home runs and we win," said Alexandra White, Fulton Astros t-ball player.
Alexandra knows a lot about winning. She's seen more battles in her five years of life than most people will ever know. The problems started before she was born.
"While they were looking at the monitor they could see that Alexandra's heart was on the opposite side of her body," said Sharon White, Alexandra's mother. "It's flipped, the heart is actually flipped over so not only is it on the wrong side... but it's backwards."
Alexandra knows that she carries a different heart than others.
"It kind of was weird that everybody else's is over here and my heart's over here," said Alexandra
One week after Alexandra came into the world, she had her first surgery. She had two more surgeries at the age of two and three.
"It feels pretty good once they fixed it up," Alexandra admitted.
She is now a swimmer, and quite a hit in her second year of t-ball.
"It makes me really excited because you can look at the ball and you can hit it real far," said Alex.
Alexandra's coach, Lance Bethell, knows that passion runs in the family.
"She's got a love for life. She's just like her daddy was," observed Bethell.
Alex's father David died when she was only 21 months, leaving behind his two daughters and Sharon to raise them.
"No one was with him at the time so no one knows exactly what happened. But he was retrieving the project out of a tree with a long pole and he was electrocuted somehow." said Sharon.
Coach Bethell remembers David fondly.
"It was terrible. David was loved by the entire community. I don't know a single person that's ever said a bad thing about him. He helped more people in this town than anyone that's ever been here. He was always lending a helping hand."
When Alexandra is on the field, it is not the surgeries or loss you notice about her, it is her smile.
"Most of the time honestly you forget that Alex is sick because it's nothing you can focus on during the day because she does do so well," Sharon admitted.
Alexandra's coach praises her efforts on the field.
"You forget about it completely. She plays harder than anybody out there and she's diving around and getting dirty and everything," said Coach Bethell.
Even with a little dirt on her princess shoes.
"She plays with a lot of heart, she plays with a lot of spunk is what she has," said Coach Bethell.
Sharon describes Alexandra's future health as good, but unpredictable. Her only medication is a baby aspirin per day, and lots of fun on the t-ball field.
"She's always smiling, and whatever Alexandra does, her heart is always in it," said Sharon.