Above and Beyond

BY foxsports • February 9, 2011

By Jon Cooper
February 8, 2011

As a baseball
head coach, Tom Walter's job is to protect his players.

There may not be
a coach in the nation or in baseball at any level that will protect his players
like Wake Forest Baseball Head Coach Tom Walter.

On Monday afternoon at
Emory Hospital in Atlanta, Walter donated a kidney to save the life of one of
his players, 19-year-old outfielder Kevin Jordan.

Last April, Jordan, a
Columbus, Ga., native, who was drafted by the New York Yankees in the 19th round
of the 2010 Draft, was diagnosed with Anti-Neutrophil Cytoplasmic Autoantibody
(ANCA) vaculitis, a type of autoimmune swelling caused by autoantibodies, which
caused his kidneys to leak blood and protein into the urine. With his kidney
function reduced to eight percent. Jordan would need a kidney transplant. With
no one in his family a suitable match, Walter stepped up to the plate. He found
out in January, coincidentally the first day of spring workouts that he was a

There was little doubt what Walter would do.

On Monday,
that meant lying on the operating table at Emory Transplant Center in Atlanta,
as Dr. Kenneth Newell removed a kidney from him. Dr. Allan Kirk would
transplanted the kidney to Jordan.

Walter, who will be beginning his
second season at Wake Forest, has always known that baseball is not a matter of
life and death.

This is the second time he's faced a real example. It

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