Major League Baseball’s opening day may be a few weeks away, but Jedd Gyorko, former WVU baseball player and current third baseman for the St. Louis Cardinals, and his family have already hit a homerun for WVU Medicine Children’s with a $100,000 donation to the hospital’s capital campaign.
“Karley and I are very excited to help and be part of something that will make such a great impact on this community and the great people of this state and surrounding areas. We are grateful that we have the opportunity to help people any way we can, especially in the children’s hospital,” Gyorko said. “Our twins spent time in the NICU when they were born. We saw what great care was given to them. It has always meant more to us than most, and we are excited we can help.”
During his three years at WVU, Gyorko was the school’s all-time leader in career batting, doubles, and extra base hits. He was tied for first for the most homeruns. He was named to the Athletic Director’s Academic Honor Roll and Big East Academic All-Star List. He also received the 2010 Brooks Wallace Award, which is given annually to the top Division I shortstop.
In 2010, he was drafted in the second round by the San Diego Padres and was assigned to the club’s farm system. Gyorko made his Major League debut in April 2013 as the Opening Day second baseman for the Padres, becoming the 28th rookie in club history to start on Opening Day. In December 2015, he was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals and became the team’s regular third baseman in 2017.
To-date, he has played 742 games in his professional career and has amassed a .247 batting average with 110 career homeruns and 344 runs batted in.
The gift from Gyorko, his wife Karley, and their family will be put toward an initiative started by Jeff Hostetler, former WVU and NFL quarterback and co-chair of the WVU Medicine Children’s Capital Campaign, to create a WVU sports-themed floor in the new tower for Children’s where patients can get away from their rooms and just be kids.
Hostetler and his wife, Vicky, are members of the WVU Medicine Children’s Leadership Council and in 2017 established the Jeff and Vicky Hostetler Family Resource Center.
“Jedd and Karley grew up in West Virginia. They know the importance of the hospital and have experience it firsthand,” Hostetler said. “We are excited to have them as part of the Children’s team and as ambassadors for the women and children of the state.”
The floor will be designed to look like a WVU locker room, complete with jerseys, helmets, and other sporting equipment. The floor will be decked out in the traditional WVU gold and blue and will have multiple televisions. Photos of former WVU athletes will line the walls, and sports-themed games, like foosball and air hockey, will be available.
The 155-bed, eight-story tower is scheduled to be completed in 2020. In addition to the WVU-themed floor, the tower will include:
· Diagnostic imaging and a laboratory
· Two connections to the Southeast Tower (the WVU Heart and Vascular Institute)
· Operating rooms, cardiac catheterization, and endoscopy facilities
· A 25-bed Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) and sedation unit
· A Pediatric Cancer Unit
· A 61-bed Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)
· A 39-bed pediatric acute care unit
· A 30-bed obstetrical unit with potential for expansion
· A medical office building, including pediatric subspecialty and Maternal-Fetal Medicine clinics
All of the inpatient rooms will be private, except for 11 NICU rooms for twins. The tower will also include inpatient and outpatient pharmacy facilities and a cafeteria.
The gift was made through the WVU Foundation, the non-profit organization that receives and administers private donations on behalf of the University.
Former athletes, individuals, and businesses interested in joining Gyorko and Hostetler in supporting the expansion of WVU Medicine Children’s should contact Janette Gidley, senior director of development, at 304-598-4346 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Additional information on the Capital Campaign can also be found at wvumedicine.org/growchildrens.
WVU Medicine Children’s – currently located on the sixth floor of J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital, WVU Medicine’s flagship hospital – provides maternal, infant, and pediatric care for West Virginia and the surrounding region, giving care to high-risk mothers, premature infants, and children with life-threatening conditions through adolescence to adulthood. In 2020, WVU Medicine Children’s will move into a new tower and ambulatory care center to be attached to Ruby Memorial. For more information, including ways to support the $60-million capital campaign for Children’s new home, visit wvumedicine.org/childrens.