Coach Walter’s Kidney: Meet A Man Who’d Do Anything For His Students
Walter is a 42-year-old coach at Wake Forest University (WFU). He’s always been known as someone who does everything possible for his kids. He gives his time, knowledge, experience, and in February 2011, Walter even gave his kidney.
A Distressing Discovery
Kevin Jordan is a freshman at WFU. He’s a talented go-getter with a bright future as a heavy-hitter on the field. In his first year at the University, Jordan was chosen as a 19th-round draft pick for the New York Yankees.
During the unforgiving winter of 2010, Jordan came down with a bad case of the flu. He took time to recover, but couldn’t shake the illness. After losing 20 pounds, Jordan was taken to the Emory University Hospital in Atlanta. While there, doctors discovered that one of his kidneys was only functioning at about 20% capacity.
The Journey Gets Worse
To combat his malfunctioning kidney, Jordan was placed on dialysis three days a week. His situation was worse than doctors originally realized. Before long he was hooked up to a dialysis machine every day. He desperately needed a kidney.
Family members stepped forward to take a test that shows if they are a match. None of them were. A few friends took the test as well, but the likelihood of finding a donor was slim. It seemed that Jordan would be placed on a long transplant waiting list.
Tom Walter At Bat
On January 28, 2010, Tom Walter was leading the first baseball practice of the spring semester. While working with his team, Walter heard the results. He was a match for Jordan’s kidney.
Coach Walter didn’t spend much time thinking about it. Three days later he was in front of his team again. This time Walter had important news. He would donate the kidney that Jordan so desperately needed.
Each member of the team listened to the announcement solemnly. When it was over, they sat in absolute silence. Once the message sunk in, the response was overwhelming. They greeted their coaches’ news with a resounding wave of applause.
Surgery And Recovery
On February 7, 2011, Dr. Kenneth Newell of Emory University Hospital performed the kidney transplant. The entire operation was incredibly successful. Both patients are expected to recover fully.
It will be a few months before Walter and Jordan feel like their old selves again. Jordan plans to attend summer school to make up for lost time. He could be well enough to swing a bat within the next 8 weeks.
Not many people would do what Coach Tom Walter did. He gave part of himself to help one of his students. We salute Mr. Walter for his heroic efforts, and cheer Kevin Jordan as he works towards returning to his beloved baseball team.
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