Are you someone who takes life for granted? You might reconsider after reading the story of Astros hitting coach, Alex Cintrón. A health scare earlier this spring left him minutes away from a possible heart attack or stroke. The 44-year-old experienced heart arrhythmia while at home and drove himself to the emergency room. Had he delayed even five or ten minutes, he might not be here today. It was a wake-up call for Cintrón who has since made healthier lifestyle choices and learned to appreciate each day.
Cintrón’s heart scare resulted in heart ablation surgery, a procedure where tiny scars are created in the heart to block irregular electrical signals and restore a normal heartbeat. He missed the first week of spring camp but managed to join the team after losing 16 pounds. It wasn’t until last week that doctors cleared him from the medications he had been taking.
A former Major League Baseball player, Cintrón joined the Astros in 2017 as the team’s Spanish translator, advance scout, and assistant coach before becoming the hitting coach. He is father to one daughter and managed in the Puerto Rican Winter League during the offseason. It was while attending a gala dinner in Houston in early December that he suffered his health scare. Had he been in Puerto Rico at the time, he doubts he would have received such quick attention.
It’s a powerful reminder that each day is a gift and not to be taken for granted. Cintrón now lives day by day and is more mindful of his health. He eats better, drinks less, and has a new appreciation for life. So next time you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed, take a moment to remember Cintrón’s story, and be grateful for the simple things in life. After all, they might just be the most important things.