People don’t donate vital bodily organs to garner headlines, but Tom Walter will receive them for his courageous and selfless act. The Wake Forest baseball coach donated one of his kidneys to Kevin Jordan Monday, a recruit who was set to begin his freshman season for the Demon Deacons.
Jordan first got sick in January of 2010, two months after he committed to play ball for Wake Forest. In April, Jordan was diagnosed with Anti-Neutrophil Cytoplasmic Autoantibody (ANCA) vasculitis, “a rare condition in which abnormal antibodies attack white blood cells and damage small blood vessels.” He still enrolled at Wake despite having to be hooked up to “dialysis 18 to 20 hours a day through a catheter in his stomach.”
With only about 8% function in his kidneys, Jordan withdrew from the Spring semester of school and was hoping for a transplant. Nobody from his family was a match when screened for a kidney, so coach Tom Walter volunteered to get tested. He turned out to be a match and then had to decide if he would make the courageous move of donating his kidney.
After some soul searching, Walter decided to donate the kidney. He said that watching Kevin show up on campus despite his illness motivated him to do what he did.
Jordan, who was a 19th-round pick by the Yankees in last year’s draft, is recovering, as is Walter. Jordan plans to enroll in summer school in June.
Here’s hoping he’s well enough to do so, and that Walter is able to be near full-strength for his team’s season opener on February 18th.