Ed Kranepool ‘close to normal’ after kidney transplant, his doctor says

Former Met Ed Kranepool arrives at a news conference at Stony Brook University Hospital on May 10, 2019, to discuss his kidney transplant. Photo Credit: Newsday/Steven Marcus Former Met Ed Kranepool is functioning "close to normal" after having kidney transplant surgery at Stony Brook University Hospital, the doctor who performed the surgery said on Friday.

“His kidney function is excellent, close to normal," said Frank S. Darras, the hospital’s medical director of transplantation services, during a news conference at the hospital. "Our goal is their kidney will last as long as them.

"If you told him he could get close to 90 he’d be thrilled.”

Kranepool, who lives in Jericho, was excited about his new outlook on life after spending two years in search of a new kidney.

“Now I have an extended team," Kranepool said. "I have a close bond with everybody. Program here is wonderful.”

Kranepool, 74, received his transplant from Deborah Barbieri of Glenwood Landing, 56, and a Mets fan.

“Until today, she lived a very quiet life,” Darras said of Barbieri.

Barbieri’s husband, Al, a volunteer fireman, received his transplant from Brian Cooney, a Port Authority police officer at LaGuardia Airport, which eventually would lead to Kranepool receiving his new kidney. Subscribe to Newsday’s sports newsletter Receive stories, photos and videos about your favorite New York teams plus national sports news and events. By clicking Sign up, you agree to our privacy policy . “I wanted to pay it forward. I was able to set a chain in motion,” said Cooney, 45.

Cooney said he’s "be happy to help" Kranepool and others celebrate the 1969 Mets next month during the team’s planned weekend. However, “I’m a Yankee fan," Cooney said, "really nothing’s going to change that.”

Kranepool had been on a two-year search to find an organ donor after saying his kidney function had dropped to about 20 percent. The search was lengthened as Kranepool had two surgeries for diabetes-related issues. Without a new kidney, his next step likely would have been dialysis.

“It’s a miracle,” said his wife, Monica Kranepool.

Kranepool said his wife was starting to get depressed during their long road to find a donor to match. But when the call came in that there was a donor, "it’s like magic," Kranepool said.

Kranepool was 17 when he made his Mets debut in 1962 after being signed out of James Monroe High School in the Bronx. He played his entire 18-year career for the Mets and was the first baseman for the 1969 World Championship team.

“I just want to get the visibility, awareness out there. Let’s give back," Kranepool said. “None of us knew each other before this."

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