Thanks to the big-hearted actions of a Long Island Port Authority Police Officer, Mets legend Ed Kranepool has a new kidney,
The road to the new kidney for the 1969 Miracle Mets star is a long one that started when Officer Brian Cooney, 45, a diehard Yankees fans, heard about how desperately kidneys were needed across the country, said the New York Daily News.
That when the cop who patrols LaGuardia Airport, a lifelong blood donor, decided to start the matching process and ended up becoming a donor for a Long Island firefighter that then sparked a donor chain that led directly to Kranepool receiving his life-saving kidney, the News said.
Saying he didn't have a particular reason or even a person in mind when he began the process, today he can't believe his one action led to helping numerous other people.
Here's how the "miracle chain" worked.
After about 10 weeks of testing Cooney was told he was a match to the firefighter. As part of a registry exchange program, the firefighter's wife then agreed to donate one of her kidney's to a stranger, which happened to be a match for Kranepool, the News reported.
Doctors said that Conney's donation freed up two other kidneys that would go to people on the donor registry.
In another strange twist, all of the surgeries took place at Stony Brook University Hospital on Long Island.
“I just wanted to help one person, but to enable other people get the help they need, it’s even better,” Cooney told the News. “It’s icing on the cake.”
Kranepool, 74, has been on the transplant list for almost a year, but because of his age and physical condition, it was unlikely he would receive a donation unless it was from a private donor.
Dozens of people stepped forward to be tested, and a match was found from one if longtime friends, but weeks before surgery, the donor was found to have other medical issues and the surgery was scrapped, the News said.
The left-handed slugger never gave up hope that his day would come, he told the Daily News in January.
“Life is fun. Life is good. And you can’t just grab a kidney off the shelf," he told the News.
On Friday, May 10, Kranepool and his doctors plan to hold a news conference to talk about the miracle.
Cooney, a native Long Islander, who before joining the Port Authority in 2002, was an NYPD officer who spent hours on a special task force at the site of the World Trade following the 9/11 attacks.
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