NEW YORK (WABC) — Former Met Ed Kranepool has a new kidney after a two-year search.
He underwent successful kidney transplant surgery on Tuesday at Stony Brook University Hospital.
Kranepool’s donation was sparked by a generous chain of events: A 45-year-old Port Authority officer decided, out of the blue, that he wanted to donate a kidney. His blood type matched a volunteer firefighter from Long Island who was on dialysis, and the officer became his donor.
The firefighter’s wife, named Deb, wanted to donate to her husband, but she wasn’t a match. Her A/B blood type, however, matched Kranepool’s, who was already on the donor list. Deb figured if she couldn’t give a kidney to her husnabd, she would give it to someone else — and had no idea who the donation would benefit.
All four surgeries were performed Tuesday.
Kranepool, a Bronx native, came to the Mets straight from James Monroe High School and was the first baseman on their 1969 championship team.
Recently the 74-year-old has seen his health deteriorate. Diabetes had left his kidney function at only 20%.
Last month at Citi Field, Kranepool made it a point to thank everyone involved who helped him get to this point.
"The positive thing about the whole situation is I think we’re able to help a lot of people," Kranepool said. "The visibility that I got for organ donation has been great, so it’s going to help a lot of people that were out there plugging organ donation which is important for everybody."
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