- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 11, 2006


Hall of Fame high school basketball coach Morgan Wootten is recovering at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore after receiving a transplanted kidney yesterday from his youngest son, Joe.

“Everything went absolutely beautifully. It could not have gone better. The new kidney is functioning perfectly,” said Dr. Robert Montgomery, the hospital’s chief of transplantation, after completing the four-hour procedure. “We’re through the first checkpoint, which is the procedure itself and immediate aftermath. There’s always the possibility of rejection episodes in the coming days. But 95 percent of the time we can turn those around, and I’d say Coach Wootten’s prognosis is excellent.”

The 75-year-old Wootten, who retired in 2002 after compiling a spectacular record of 1,274-192 in 46 years at DeMatha, received a liver transplant in 1996.

In the years since, the anti-rejection medication he took for the first transplant gradually weakened his kidney function, necessitating this second operation.

“His kidneys also suffered significant damage due to the bleeding he had during the liver procedure,” Montgomery said. “There were no complications during this procedure. I’d expect him to be home within a week to 10 days and completely recovered within a month. … I have to admit, I’ve been amazed by all the media attention and publicity in this case. There sure are a lot of people who love him down there.”

The prognosis is equally bright for Joe, who played for his father and now carries on the family tradition as the coach at Bishop O’Connell in Arlington. Montgomery confirmed that the organ-delivery portion of the procedure went seamlessly and expects Joe to be out of the hospital in two to three days and back on the court by next week.

Barker Davis

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