College Baseball Star Receives Kidney from His Own Coach


"I think the motivation is different for everyone," said Schlam. "People will see something or hear of somebody who needs it, and something just spurs them to do it."

Just as Walter was spurred to help.

And Dr. Kenneth Newell, lead surgeon on the team that removed Walter's kidney, said that he expects both Walter and Jordan to make a full recovery.

On Wednesday, Walter was already planning on leaving the hospital and returning to his home in North Carolina.

"I feel terrific," said Walter. "It gets better every hour. If I had to get on a plane LSU today, I could do it."

Jordan hopes to leave the hospital by the end of the week.

"It's a little sore but I can't complain about any of this," said Jordan. "As soon as my body agrees with me and I'm allowed to start playing, I'll start playing."

Doctors said that Jordan should be able to swing a bat again in eight weeks.

"His abilities should be back to whatever they would have been, including sliding and all, even reaching for that long ball over the wall," said Newell.

"All along, it's been about trying to do the right thing," said Walter. "This whole process has never been about getting Kevin back on the field. This has been about Kevin having a chance at a normal life."

A Coach and His Team

Most people who hear the story may be surprised by the devotion of a coach to his player, but Steven Brooks, the 22-year-old captain of Wake Forest's baseball team, said that Walter would have done the same for any of his players.

"A lot of guys play extra hard with Walt as a coach," said Brooks. "And it's not like someone needed him to do something like give a kidney to want to play like that. But he would be willing to do anything for any of his players."

Brooks said that he speaks to Walter on the phone several times a day to talk practice, team strategy, or anything else on the player's mind. These days, Brooks has been calling to check on Walter and Jordan's recovery.

As for the players' deep respect for their coach, the admiration is mutual.

"There were a couple times in my young adult life that I considered getting out of coaching," said Walter. "I interviewed for some investment backing jobs, but I'd be sitting across from the interviewer, not too excited about being that guy in five years."

"After coaching for two weeks, I believed that this was my calling," said Walter.

Now, as Walt looks forward to checking in with his team this Friday, Jordan will recuperate, and continue to count his blessings.

"I try and complain a lot less," said Jordan."Going through this, you see people in a lot worse situations. I didn't have to ask anybody. I was lucky."

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