INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A 6’4″ right hander out of Lafayette, Indiana, Josh Lindblom has always loved baseball.
“I’ve always loved playing. Going out, playing catch in our street, in front of our house. It’s just always something I’ve loved to do,” said Josh Lindblom.
A love that has taken him, his wife, Aurielle, and his children Presley, Palmer, and Monroe, around the globe. From stints with the Dodgers, to Philadelphia, all the way to Korea.
“Unbelievable experience. One of the best baseball experiences we’ve had. So, long journey. Now I’m back playing in the states,” said Josh.
The unpredictable nature of professional baseball has made Victory Field a temporary home for Lindblom. And while he’s used to throwing pitches at 90 miles per hour, nothing could prepare Josh for the curve ball thrown his way in October 2016.
“Right from the beginning you have this confusion stage. When you’re angry. From the beginning,” said Aurielle Lindblom. “You reach that point of anger. You have to work through that. Why us? Why is this happening to our family?”
At 25 weeks of her pregnancy with Monroe, a routine appointment with her doctor in Korea revealed something terribly wrong.
“I could just tell from the look on his face that he sees something wrong.”
The doctor found that Monroe had Hypoplastic Right Heart Syndrome, meaning the right side of her heart was a lot smaller than the left. Aurielle and the kids returned home to Indiana immediately to prepare, leaving Josh alone in Korea – where he found comfort on the mound.
“When I was able to pitch, that was the only time I didn’t have to think about it,” said Josh. “Knowing that the second I landed in America, I was essentially stepping into a storm.”
The perfect storm hit the Lindblom’s on October 20th, 2016. Moments after Aurielle gave birth to Monroe, doctors rushed the newborn to Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health for life-saving surgery.
Every day, Josh and Aurielle are greeted by big blue eyes and that smile. Every day, mom monitors Monroe closely. A feeding tube marks the only physical reminder of a heart condition. A new normal the Lindblom’s have welcomed with open arms.
“We’ve been molded for this. Our whole life. With all the change we’ve had to deal with, with all of the highs and lows of baseball. I definitely think it’s helped us prepare for this,” said Aurielle.
“Something that was important to us throughout this whole entire thing was not separating our family,” said Josh. “ Keeping our family together no matter what that took.”
A call from the Pirates last fall answered their prayers. An opportunity to potentially stay near home when playing for the Indians. Now when Josh takes the mound, he has a new perspective.
“When you go out and give up a few runs, the sun’s going to come up tomorrow. I don’t let those things affect me as much as I did in the past,” said Josh.
No matter the outcome of a game. The only team that matters is back home again in Indiana.