Former Met Ed Kranepool underwent successful kidney transplantation surgery Wednesday at Stony Brook University Hospital. The doctor who performed the procedure said that the new kidney is functioning “close to normal.”
Kranepool, 74, was on a waiting list to find the proper match for a transplant for two years prior to Wednesday’s surgery. His wait was compromised by the fact that he needed two surgeries related to his diabetes in the interim. His kidney function had dropped to about 20% and had he not found a donor, the next step would most likely have been dialysis.
The former Met received his transplant from Deborah Barbieri, a 56 year old Mets fan from Glenwood Landing. Her husband, Al, also needed a kidney transplant and received his from a Port Authority police officer named Brian Cooney. Cooney remarked, “I wanted to pay it forward. I was able to set a chain in motion.”
Kranepool’s wife, Monica, called the chain events that led to the donor, “a miracle.” She had been disheartened and depressed throughout the long wait but said “it’s like magic” that the Kranepools finally got their match.
According to Newsday , Dr. Frank Darras, who performed the surgery said ,”(Kranepool’s) kidney function is excellent, close to normal. Our goal is their kidney will last as long as them.” The remarks were made at a press conference Friday at Stony Brook Hospital detailing the surgery and the chain of events that led to Kranepool finding his match.
Kranepool was signed by the Mets in 1962 as a 17 year-old. He played in the majors for 18 years, all with the Mets. He was an all-star in 1965 and is in the Mets Hall of Fame. He still holds the franchise record for games played with the Mets with 1853.
The best news is that Kranepool should be strong enough to attend the 50th anniversary celebration of the 1969 championship team scheduled for late June and is expected to attend.
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