Baseball Helps Rangers Catcher Carlos Corporan Overcome Tragedy | NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
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Baseball Helps Rangers Catcher Carlos Corporan Overcome Tragedy

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Above all else, its family and baseball for Carlos Corporan. (Published Monday, March 16, 2015)

    Above all else, its family and baseball for Texas Rangers catcher Carlos Corporan, especially when tragedy struck close to home.

    The big league catcher was on top of the world two and a half years ago.

    He supported a family and his baseball career was taking off.

    But that's when life threw the ultimate curve ball, and the Corporan's perfect world was turned upside down.

    "Everything was perfect and then from nowhere I mean I was like miserable. I didn't want to be apart of that pain."

    The immediate joy of being first time parents for Carlos and his wife Stephanie had to wait.

    Their son Carlos Junior was born with a defect known as hypoplastic left heart syndrome - where the left side of the heart under-develops.

    The new-born went into surgery immediately as doctors rushed to save his life.

    Carlos struggled to maintain his professional career with the Houston Astros and be there for his family.

    While Stephanie, who was now pregnant with a second child, lived with her infant son at the hospital.

    "It was hard because we couldn't understand why. What happened. There was a lot of questions and no answers," said Carlos Corporan.

    After 3 total surgeries and 7-months in a hospital, young Carlos was released and on track to live a normal life.

    "When we left we were so excited. You know, 7 months already between two hospitals; we were done. We just wanted to have a life and take care of him. And he was going well. Nine months passed, he was good and then one day, that's it," said Stephanie Corporan.

    In October of 2012, young Carlos unexpectedly stopped breathing.

    This time, the doctors couldn't save him.

    "It's something they don't prepare you for. Yeah they tell you 'well if he stops breathing' and everything, but your son is dying. What do you do?" said Stephanie. "I just looked at him and stared at him thinking 'what happened? What did I miss? I was always there, what did I miss that I didn't see this coming?'"

    "I couldn't believe it, I was in denial. I was like 'no way,'" said Carlos Corporan. "That's when my life fell apart, it was a really hard moment for us as a family."

    That's when family and baseball helped the Corporan's regain focus.

    Daughter Tiffani, born a year after Carlos Junior, is full of personality and keeps her parents busy.

    But for Carlos, he needed something more.

    "The game. The game. That was what kept my mind off thinking about Carlos. But the day he passed away, everything I do; I do for him and my family," said Carlos Corporan.

    Every June for Carlos Junior's birthday, the Corporans throw him a party at a local children's hospital in Houston. They provide food, gifts and lots of attention to the young patients.

    They plan to bring the party to North Texas this summer, and start at a charity in their son's honor.

    "Smiles for Carlos will be the name for the non-profit, because he was always happy. I think that's what he would want, for us to help others. We have been blessed in this dark time, so it's time for us to help other people feel blessed too in any way we can," said Stephanie Corporan.

    More:SmilesforCarlos@gmail.com

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