LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Nationals hitting coach Rick Eckstein donated his kidney to his older brother, Ken, on Wednesday. Both are doing well, according to Rick's fiancée, Caroline FitzPatrick.
The surgeon was able to transplant the kidney into Ken without any problems. If things go according to plan, Rick will be released from a Florida hospital on Thursday. He must rest for at least a week before returning to baseball activities.
There is a possibility that Ken could be released from the intensive care unit as early as Thursday. He is expected to be in the hospital for at least a week.
It was Ken's second kidney transplant. The first came in 1991 from an organ donor. But that kidney, which is 70-plus years old, was failing before the second procedure was done.
Kidney disease runs in the Eckstein family. Father Whitey and sisters Christine and Susan have all had kidney transplants. All three are doing fine. Christine was helping Ken go through his ordeal before the surgery.
Rick and his younger brother, free-agent infielder David Eckstein, have been spared from similar problems.
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time. He also could be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.