JHS Teacher to Donate Kidney to Former Football Coach & Marine S - FOX 14 TV Joplin and Pittsburg News Weather Sports |

JHS Teacher to Donate Kidney to Former Football Coach & Marine Sniper

The guys as Alan leaves the hospital after kidney donation The guys as Alan leaves the hospital after kidney donation
Joplin, MO -

Update 5/1/2017:  Alan Linden the JHS teacher who donated his kidney to friend and former football coach Ethan Place, has left the hospital and Ethan will be out soon.

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Two men, who, not long ago, shared their love of teaching and coaching football together at Joplin high school are a matter of hours away from sharing something else. A kidney.  

 Ethan Place fought in Iraq as a sniper earning a silver star and his own History channel segment.
Back home after two tours of duty he's again fighting to stay alive.
The former Joplin football coach now at Holt high school in Wentzville, Missouri is facing kidney failure.Place said, "I've been on dialysis since August tenth of last year. It was very humbling. I got sick and the guys could see a change. I myself lost about seventy pounds."

Place came to Joplin in 2011 not long after the tornado and was part of the football coaching staff until 2015. Becoming part of the football family, all members of the coaching staff were willing to be tested to give him a kidney.

JHS Offensive line football coach Brandon Taute explained, "We're all like brothers to each  other. Were the only people we hang out with  really. We're best friends. We didnt even  question it. It was when are we going to do it,  not if we were."

Coach Alan Linden was the best match and headed for St. Louis  Thursday to the transplant surgery.
Linden said, "I look at it as an absolute blessing. I
m one of many people that wanted to. Im the guy lucky enough to get to do it." 

Both say Ethan deserves to get back to a normal life. Linden said, "Hes such a hero. Hes a marine. Hes fought for our country." And Taute added, "Hes just a special person. When you think of a true American, hes obviously that because of his military background. But he puts other people first.  Hes just about as good of a guy as you can think of. If its something you want your son to be, its him."

Ethan said hes grateful, "Im very blessed and lucky to have a donor. A live donor. Theres only, they only do about seventy-five of these a year at Barnes." Ethan worries more about his friend than himself and is thankful for the gift. He said, "I cant put into words what it means. What its going to do for your family to have your life back. Hes really, basically saving your  life and giving you your life back."

     The surgery is scheduled for Friday morning. Linden says his recovery should take a few days. Place will need to take medications for organ rejection the rest of his life but says he could see immediate improvement in energy and skin color.
     Place encourages everyone to consider becoming an organ donor.


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