WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) -- 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 the 42-year-old Walter and outfielder Kevin Jordan were recovering Tuesday in an Atlanta hospital one day after the transplant was performed. Dr. Kenneth Newell, the lead surgeon on the team that removed Walter's kidney, said in a statement issued Tuesday by Wake Forest that he expects Walter and Jordan to recover fully.
The school says recovery time for both Walter and Jordan is expected to be several months. Walter said it will be two months before he is back to normal. Jordan's father Keith said his son could swing a bat again in 6-8 weeks, and he expects Kevin to enroll in summer school in June and prepare for the fall semester.
"Certainly, the best-case scenario is that Kevin and I just lead a normal life," Walter said. "For Kevin's sake, I think that's the first goal, that Kevin can just have a normal life. Forget the baseball part of it for now. If he gets back on the field, that's going to be the best story of all. That's when (the media) are going to be calling back for another press conference, because that's going to be the great story, when he makes it back to the playing field."
Jordan had trouble shaking the flu last winter as a high school senior in Columbus, Ga., and lost 20 pounds. Doctors at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta discovered his kidney was functioning at only 15 to 20 percent.
He was diagnosed last April with ANCA vasculitis, a type of autoimmune swelling disorder caused by abnormal antibodies. When those abnormalities show up in the kidneys, they can cause blood and protein to leak into the urine and result in kidney failure.
Jordan, who was drafted by the New York Yankees in the 19th round last June, wound up on dialysis -- three days a week at first, and then daily. Family members were tested to see if any were a possible match for a transplant, and Walter was tested in December after it was determined that his relatives weren't compatible.
Walter found out Jan. 28, during the team's first practice of the spring semester, that he was a match. He told the team three days later, and said the players greeted the news with "stunned silence followed by a round of applause."
"We knew that our prayers had been answered," Keith Jordan said. "Kevin just, you could just imagine the smile on his face that maybe, all of this nighttime dialysis and medicine, and the shots he's having to take, and maybe all of this would be behind him a little bit.
"Of course, when you get a kidney, you still have to take medicine but it's nowhere near what you have to take today. But you can't imagine the joy and happiness and thankfulness we give for Coach Walter. It's just a blessing that we've received. We have to take it from there and move forward."
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)