After all, he’s all mixed up inside. He’s one of the rare people walking this Earth with situs inversus. That’s the scientific name for the condition of having your organs reversed inside of your body.
While most of us have our heart slightly to the left of the center of our chest, Randy’s heart is slightly toward the right. Likewise, his liver is on his left and his stomach is on his right. Most of us have those organs on the opposite sides of our body.
Randy’s medical mix-up was featured in a cover story on Tuesday’s Star-Tribune. And for as great a basketball player that he’s been – he was the Wolves’ No. 1 draft choice this past spring after being named the Big East Player of the Year last year as a senior at Villanova – he was sweating out if his condition was going to cost him a chance to play pro basketball.
In the story, he told how he was able to pass all the on-court tests of his talents with flying colors during the pre-draft camps. But when the medical tests came back showing that his insides were turned around, the experts had to get a quick education on situs inversus.
I had never heard of the condition myself until working in the Body Worlds exhibition this summer. There, a number of people told me that they had the condition, or knew of someone who had it. Actually, it impacts about 1 in 10,000 people.
For the most part, people with situs inversus lead a perfectly normal life. The only hang-up can come if they suffer some other malady, and their doctor doesn’t know they have situs inversus. For instance, if Randy Foye suffers an attack of appendicitis, his pain will be in his left abdomen, not his right.
As a pro, Randy has been showing progress, including hitting the game-winning shot as time expired against the Chicago Bulls last night. But if things ever go bad and the coaches question if his heart is really in the right spot, I guess he’ll have a great reply!