Wake Forest baseball coach Tom Walter has donated a kidney to freshman player Kevin Jordan, who suffers from a disease that can lead to kidney failure.
Wake Forest baseball coach Tom Walter has donated a kidney to a freshman player who suffers from a disease that can lead to kidney failure.
Both Walter and outfielder Kevin Jordan were recovering Tuesday in an Atlanta hospital one day after the transplant was performed.
“For us, it’s almost like it’s been divine intervention,” said Jordan’s father, Keith.
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Kevin Jordan previously had a kidney functioning at 8 percent of its ability and was taking 35 pills daily.
Dr. Kenneth Newell, lead surgeon on the team that removed Walter’s kidney, said in a statement issued Tuesday by Wake Forest officials that he expects Walter and Jordan to recover fully.
Recovery for both the 42-year-old Walter and Jordan is expected to take months.
Walter said it will be two months before he is back to normal.
Keith Jordan predicted his son could swing a bat again in six to eight weeks, and he expects Kevin to enroll in summer school in June and prepare for the fall semester.
Jordan’s priority is the early stage of recovery, which includes taking short walks in the hospital and making sure his incision doesn’t become infected.
“I think he’s feeling great, outside of he’s still got a couple of tubes hanging out of him,” Keith Jordan said.
Walter said the “best-case scenario is that Kevin and I just lead a normal life” but added that the great story will come when Jordan “makes it back to the playing field.”
Jordan, 19, had trouble shaking the flu last winter as a high-school senior in Columbus, Ga., and lost about 20 pounds. He was diagnosed in April with ANCA vasculitis, a type of autoimmune swelling disorder caused by abnormal antibodies.
Two days before enrolling at Wake Forest in the fall, Jordan was told by doctors he needed a transplant as soon as possible. His dialysis was increased to 10 hours daily.
Walter volunteered for a transplant if the Jordans couldn’t find a match within the family. No match was found among family members and Keith Jordan phoned to see if Walter was still willing.
Walter, who called the decision a no-brainer, said, “When we recruit our guys, we talk about family and we talk about making sacrifices for one another, for our teammates.”
Of Walter, Wake Forest athletic director Ron Wellman said, “He’s been a very giving person, a very kind person with our baseball program, so in one sense, this should not have surprised me. But when someone makes a sacrifice like this to someone outside his biological family, it’s a surprise.”
Wake Forest officials asked the Atlantic Coast Conference whether the transplant would run afoul of the NCAA’s myriad rules about “extra benefits.”
Wellman said, “We called the ACC and they kind of chuckled about it.”