Tuesday, September 02, 2008
Contact: Ridgely Ingersoll
Nuss Procedure Patient Joins MLB
Tim Melville signs with Kansas City Royals
WENTZVILLE, Mo.- On August 15, 2008, 18-year-old Tim Melville, a 6-foot-5 right-handed pitcher, signed a contract to play major league baseball with the Kansas City Royals.
Although Tim showed remarkable pitching skills from a very early age, he did have one strike against him: A severe case of pectus excavatum, an abnormality of the chest wall that limited his ability to exercise. In pectus excavatum, the sternum and ribs grow inward, compressing the heart and lungs.
Dr. Donald Nuss, a pediatric surgeon at Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters in Norfolk, Virginia, pioneered a minimally-invasive technique to correct the deformity in the late 1990s. Since then, the “Nuss Procedure” as it is now known, has helped thousands of young people around the world live fuller lives.
Tim had the Nuss Procedure at CHKD in the spring of 2001, when was 10 years old. Prior to his surgery, he was easily winded and very fatigued after games. After surgery, his increased heart and lung capacity allowed his natural athletic ability to flourish.
During his high school years in a suburb of St. Louis, Tim became a bright prospect on the national high school baseball scene. He won the Jackie Robinson Award as the National Player of the Year at the 2007 Aflac All-American High School Baseball Classic, as well as many other state and national awards. In his junior year, he was recruited by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
In August, just before school started, he signed a contract --- with a $1.25 million signing bonus --- with the Kansas City Royals.
Pectus excavatum is the most common congenital deformity of the chest wall, affecting about 1 in 1,000 children, most of them males. Tim would like to help raise awareness of the condition and its potential for successful treatment.
Children's Hospital of The King's Daughters is the only freestanding pediatric hospital in Virginia. For more information on pectus excavatum and the Nuss Procedure, visit www.chkd.org. To arrange an interview with Tim, please call Ridgely Ingersoll at 757-668-9087.