Published February 08, 2011
College baseball coaches give a lot of support to their players on and off the field, but what Tom Walter did this week for one of his players, goes above and beyond normal coaching duties.
Kevin Jordan, a freshman at Wake Forest University in North Carolina, was originally selected to play for the New York Yankees last year, but committed to the college. He became ill in January 2010 and was diagnosed with ANCA vasculitis, which causes his white blood cells to attack healthy body tissues. His kidneys were functioning at only 8 percent, and doctors said he needed a transplant immediately, ESPN.com reported.
But none of his family members were a match. So Walter – without hesitation – volunteered to donate his kidney.
“When we recruit our guys, we talk about family and making sacrifices for one another,” Walter told USA Today before the surgery. “It is something we take very seriously. I had the support of my family, Wake Forest and my team. To me, it was a no-brainer.”
The surgery took place Monday at Emory Hospital in Atlanta, Ga., and lead surgeon Dr. Kenneth Newell said both operations went as planned.
Walter is expected to be released from the hospital Thursday and he hopes to be at Wake Forest’s season opener Feb. 18 against Louisiana State University.
Jordan took the semester off to recover, but he wants to begin light workouts in the near future and has plans to return to Wake Forest in the summer.