Harrell received life-saving spinal surgery and LVAD at INTEGRIS Baptist Medical Center within last year

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma City Dodgers and INTEGRIS Health continue the “Home Run For Life” series for an 11th season and will recognize Jeremiah Harrell prior to the Dodgers’ 7:05 p.m. game Saturday against the Round Rock Express at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark.

A multidisciplinary team of experts at INTEGRIS Baptist Medical Center performed life-saving emergency spinal surgery on Harrell while also accommodating his pre-existing heart conditions, including a left ventricular assistance device (LVAD), earlier this year. INTEGRIS Baptist Medical Center is the only facility in the state offering a full-service advanced heart failure program including teams of board-certified heart failure, LVAD, heart and lung transplant, anesthesia, cardiothoracic and neurosurgical experts together at one facility.

“Home Run For Life” recognizes individuals in the community who have overcome a significant medical event with the help of their families, physicians and health care professionals. To symbolize the end of their battle against adversity, honorees take a home run “lap” around the bases during a pregame ceremony.

“Each month during the baseball season, we are proud to partner with INTEGRIS Health to honor the perseverance and courage displayed by these incredible Oklahomans,” OKC Dodgers President/General Manager Michael Byrnes said. “’Home Run For Life’ allows us to uniquely recognize their amazing and inspiring stories of triumph over significant health challenges.”

Harrell was referred to INTEGRIS Health’s cardiology team when he first moved to Oklahoma. He was born with a genetic heart condition that was deteriorating and he underwent a procedure to implant a left ventricular assistance device (LVAD) at INTEGRIS Baptist Medical Center in December 2021.

Life returned to normal for the Bluejacket, Okla., resident until he started to feel numbness and a burning sensation in his neck around Easter earlier this year.

Harrell’s wife rushed him to INTEGRIS Health in Oklahoma City where he met with Pal Randhawa, M.D., with INTEGRIS Spine and Neurological Surgery.

The medical team discovered a severe infection that eroded and destabilized his spine, causing it to begin to collapse and damage his spinal cord.

“Had he not come to the hospital that very day, he would have been permanently paralyzed,” Randhawa said.

A team comprised of LVAD, anesthesia, cardiothoracic and neurosurgical experts were all present during the surgery in case they needed to respond quickly to any potential complications.

INTEGRIS Baptist Medical Center is the only facility in the state capable of offering all these teams together in one place

The emergency surgery was successful, and Harrell underwent additional staged surgeries to stabilize his neck.

Harrell knows his surgeries were no small feat and is incredibly grateful for his caretakers.

“My doctors are amazing,” Harrell said. “They keep a big smile on my face because without them I wouldn’t be walking around now.”

To read Harrell’s full story, visit the OKC Dodgers’ “Beyond the Bricks” website at: medium.com/beyond-the-bricks. Photos of Harrell are attached for use (credit: OKC Dodgers).

The OKC Dodgers are in the midst of a six-game home series against the Round Rock Express at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark that continues tonight at 7:05 p.m. Upcoming promotional highlights include:

Friday, June 24 – 7:05 p.m.: Gates open at 6 p.m. and the first 1,000 guests will receive an OKC Dodgers water bottle. Braum’s Friends & Family 4-Packs are available for the game that include four tickets, four hats and four Braum’s restaurant vouchers. Friday Night Fireworks are then scheduled to follow the game.

Additionally, the Dodgers are partnering with the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services to increase awareness on the topic of mental health in the community, focusing on education, advocacy and support to #StrikeOutTheStigma of mental illness. Oklahomans who are working to de-stigmatize the connotations that come with mental health struggles will be recognized throughout the season, including during Friday night’s game.

Saturday, June 25 – 7:05 p.m.: Harrell will be honored for his INTEGRIS “Health Home Run For Life” prior to Saturday’s game. Also before the game, Oklahoma City Community College President Mautra Staley Jones, Ed.D. is scheduled to throw out a ceremonial first pitch. Jones began her tenure March 1, 2022 and is the first woman and also the first person of color to lead OCCC.

Saturday is a Future Dodgers Night and youth baseball and softball teams in uniform are invited to participate in a pregame parade on the field. Game tickets for groups of 10 or more include a souvenir OKC Dodgers hat. Saturday is also a Braum’s Friends and Family Night, allowing groups of 10 or more people to receive a game ticket, OKC Dodgers hat and a Braum’s restaurant voucher that can be redeemed at any Oklahoma Braum’s location, starting at just $13 each.

Sunday, June 26 – 2:05 p.m.: Following the conclusion of the game, kids can take the field to run the bases like their favorite pros.

Tickets can be purchased through okcdodgers.com/tickets. For general information or inquiries, please visit okcdodgers.com or call (405) 218-2182. Live radio coverage of each OKC Dodgers game begins 15 minutes before first pitch on AM 1340 "The Game," 1340thegame.com and through the free iHeartRadio or MiLB First Pitch apps. All OKC Dodgers games are also available streamed live on MiLB.TV with a subscription.