Lots to Cheer About in Torre Family – NEW YORK (AP) — Joe Torre

NEW YORK (AP) — Joe Torre’s New York Yankees weren’t the only ones with a new lease on life Friday: The manager’s brother Frank received a long-awaited heart transplant in an operation serendipitously performed on a World Series day off.
“Joe Torre said this afternoon that this was the best news he could have possibly gotten,” said Dr. Eric Rose, who performed the surgery at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center.

The Yankees manager was not at the hospital during the four-hour operation. On Thursday night, he led the Yankees to their third straight win over the Braves in Atlanta and a 3-2 lead in the Series.

Frank Torre, a former major league first baseman, was expected to give his new heart a workout Saturday night, watching the Yankees go for the clincher in Game 6.

“We think he’s much better off watching the game with this heart instead of his old one,” Rose said, adding that the patient was awake, “doing great” and listening to music in the intensive care unit Friday afternoon.

Rose said Torre’s tight-knit family — he also has two sisters, Rae and ister Mary Marguerite Torre — should help in his recovery. A third brother, Rocco, died of a heart attack during the spring.

Torre, 64, waited 4{ months for his new heart, watching from a hospital bed since mid-August as his younger brother managed the Yankees into their first World Series in 15 years.

About four hours after Andy Pettitte’s pitching lifted the Yankees to a 1-0 victory in Game 5, Torre’s doctors received word that a donor heart was available. After four hours of preparation, the surgery began about 8:30 a.m.

“The timing is serendipitous,” Rose said. Another member of the cardiac team, Dr. Mehmet Oz, noted that there was no World Series game on Friday and joked, “We wanted to do it on an off day.”

Doctors said Torre’s long-term prospects were good. About 90 percent of heart recipients live a year, and about 50 percent survive 10 years.

Frank Torre had suffered three heart attacks before checking into the hospital, and probably would have been dead within a year without the transplant, doctors said.

Torre’s donor was an unidentified 28-year-old man who died suddenly Thursday night at Montefiore Medical Center in The Bronx, Rose said. The man died from a sudden increase in the pressure of his brain, Rose added.

Torre was at or close to the top of the donor list, said Denise Payne, executive director of the New York Regional Transplant Program. He was not pushed to the top of the list, nor did the donor’s family request that an organ be directed to him, Payne said.

Torre played from the Milwaukee Braves who won two National League pennants and one World Series, beating the Yankees. He retired after two seasons with the Philadelphia Phillies.

With younger brother Joe in his first World Series this week, Frank was again thrust into the spotlight. In a hospital bed just two miles from Yankee Stadium, he fielded reporters’ questions and ticket requests with equal panache.

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