News Release: Emory Healthcare , Woodruff Health Sciences

Feb. 8,  2011

Wake Forest Head Baseball Coach Donates Kidney To Player

Columbus, Ga. native receives gift of life from coach, looks to hit the field in 2012

News Article ImagePlayer Kevin Jordan (left) and Wake Forest University baseball coach Tom Walter (right). Image credit: Steve Shutt. High-resolution download available. For additional photos, contact Lance Skelly. There is also multimedia (video, audio and photos) for the press conference.

News Conference Wed. Feb. 9th in Atlanta

WHAT:  News Conference - Wake Forest baseball coach Tom Walter, player Kevin Jordan and Emory transplant surgeons will be available to speak with media in person and via telephone regarding the gift of life, Kevin’s illness, and the surgery.       

WHEN:  Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2011, 11:30 a.m. EDT

WHERE:  The Emory Clinic B, 1365 Clifton Road, NE, Atlanta, GA 30322

CALL-IN:  888-947-9021 (participant pass code: 8463640)

PARKING:  Media parking will be available with advance attendance confirmation. Please call Lance Skelly at 404-775-5050 to confirm attendance.


Transplant surgeons at Emory University Hospital have successfully completed a living donor kidney transplant from the head baseball coach at Wake Forest University to one of his players.

Freshman Kevin Jordan was recruited by head coach Tom Walter to attend Wake Forest University following his graduation from Northside-Columbus High School in Columbus, Ga., in Spring 2010. Jordan began to feel ill in Jan. 2010 and was diagnosed with ANCA vasculitis. ANCA vasculitis is a type of autoimmune swelling caused by auto- antibodies. While normal antibodies are produced by the immune system to fight germs, auto-antibodies attack one’s own cells and tissues, often leading to kidney failure.

Jordan was limited in his ability to take part in fall practice at Wake Forest as the disease worsened and he underwent daily dialysis.  Because of the progression of the disease, Jordan did not return to Wake Forest for the spring semester 2011. Doctors tested members of Jordan’s family and did not find an ideal match. Coach Walter volunteered to undergo testing and was found to be a good match.  After considerable soul-searching, Walter decided to donate his kidney to Jordan, and the surgeries were performed on Monday, Feb. 7 at Emory.

Surgeons say that although kidney transplant patients require specialized medications to maintain the function of their kidney, medications can be tailored to allow patients to return to normal activities, including high-level athletic performance. As such, it is anticipated that Mr. Jordan will be able to return to competition for the 2012 season. Emory transplant surgeons are actively involved in the development of new transplant medications and in the adjustment of existing medications to minimize their side effects.


The Robert W. Woodruff Health Sciences Center of Emory University is an academic health science and service center focused on missions of teaching, research, health care and public service.

Learn more about Emory’s health sciences:
Twitter: @emoryhealthsci

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