Thurston's Snell grateful for health-restoring donation

Longtime friends and fellow Redford Thurston football coaches Pete Kotsogiannis (left) and Bob Snell are doing well a few days after Kotsogiannis donated a kidney and Snell received one.(Photo: SUBMITTED)

At some point during the aftermath of his heroic kidney-donation surgery on June 20, Redford Thurston assistant football coach Pete Kotsogiannis requested a modest and lighthearted favor from the potential life-saving (and certainly life-enhancing) procedure’s benefactor — Redford Thurston head football coach (and Kotsogiannis’s brother-in-law) Bob Snell.

“Since I’ve only been a coordinator on the defensive side of the ball, I told Bob that all I wanted in return was to call the first offensive play for Thurston this season,” Kotsogiannis revealed, smiling. “We work on all these trick plays, but never use them. If he lets me call the play, we’re running a fancy one.”

The fact that Kotsogiannis and Snell were able to joke about the amazing and delicate four-person, paired donor kidney transplants that also involved two participants from California — a pair of acquaintances, like Snell and Kotsogiannis, one of whom was the recipient of Kotsogiannis’s kidney, the other a donor for Snell — was a reflection of the procedure’s early-stage success.

On June 21, the day the anonymous donor’s kidney was surgically implanted into Snell’s abdomen at the University of Michigan Hospital, the 54-year-old veteran Thurston football and baseball coach was in dire straits. Continue reading
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