Winston-Salem, NC -- The story of the Wake Forest baseball coach who donated a kidney to one of his players has inspired people across the country.
Coach Tom Walter returned to practice with his team Friday, just four days after donating his kidney to player Kevin Jordan, who had a rare, life-threatening blood disorder that attacked his kidneys. Both underwent surgery Monday.
"I just couldn't be happier to be back with the team," Walter said.
"I'm just overwhelmed by the outreach from across the country. How many people from all parts of the country and all walks of life have reached out to wish us well and tell us how this story has touched them. So that's been the amazing part of this," he said.
Players gave Walter a round of applause as he stepped on the field Friday.
"It's really humbling for his players to know that a coach would do something like that for his players," said pitcher Austin Stadler. "He's always taught us selflessness and sacrifice."
Outfielder Steven Brooks said, "You know it's for the right thing, you know what Walt did was very selfless and the act that he did, it's great to see the recognition."
Coach Walter hopes his experience sends some messages to others.
"Let's put others first. Let's make decisions based on what's best for our fellow man and make sacrifices for each other," he said.
"Let's educate ourselves on the kidney donation program, on all organ donation programs."
If Kevin's body accepts the transplant, he could be back in the weight room at Wake Forest by April. Walter said Kevin can start swinging a bat in eight weeks and hopes he'll be in full practice mode in September.
Walter said, "This is where I belong, on the field with these guys, this is what it's all about."