Mets great Ed Kranepool has a new kidney thanks to not one but two donors.
Kranepool 74, who has been living with diabetes for much of his life, had been searching for a donor for two years before a match was located last month. Meanwhile, a Port Authority police officer, Brian Cooney, began inquiring about donating one of his kidneys after hearing stories about how desperately the organs are needed.
Cooney was found to be a match for a Long Island firefighter, Al Barbieri, and donated to him. Barbieri’s wife, Deborah, a Mets fan, then decided to pay the life-saving favor forward by giving up one of her kidneys. She became Kranepool’s donor.
On Friday, Stony Brook University Hospital held a news conference in which Dr. Frank S. Darras, who performed Kranepool’s transplant Wednesday , provided an update on the former All-Star first baseman and World Series champ.
"His kidney function is excellent, close to normal," Darras said, according to Newsday . "Our goal is their kidney will last as long as them."
Kranepool, who had been facing dialysis before the transplant, said his wife, Monica, had become disheartened as the long search for a donor dragged on. But "it’s like magic" that they finally received that fateful call.
"It’s a miracle," Monica Kranepool said Friday.
Kranepool was signed by the Mets at 17 years old in 1962 and played 18 seasons in the majors, all with the Mets. He was an All-Star in 1965 and is a member of the Mets’ Hall of Fame. He remains the franchise’s all-time leader in games played with 1,853.
Kranepool is expected to attend the 50th anniversary celebration of the Mets’ 1969 championship in late June at Citi Field.
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