A gift of love - and life- awaits former Palmyra star

LEBANON DAILY NEWS | Pat Huggins
After an 11-year battle with kidney disease, Former Palmyra field hockey star Kelly Fitzpatrick Barrett, right, will receive a kidney transplant next week and the donor will be her husband, Blake Barrett, left.(Photo: Photo courtesy of Lauri Fitzpatrick)
Former Palmyra field hockey star Kelly Fitzpatrick is set to receive a life-saving kidney transplant from an unlikely donor match - her husband, Blake Barrett.

Anyone who ever saw Kelly Fitzpatrick play field hockey knows the ex-Palmyra star was blessed with a great many gifts.

Speed, skill, vision, anticipation and an uncanny ability to send the ball flying into the back of the goal cage were just a few of the said gifts that Fitzpatrick used to help propel the Cougars to the 2005 Class AA state title and herself to the Pennsylvania career scoring record.

Those God-given gifts that she received and used so well on the playing field, which led her to a collegiate career at Michigan, pale in comparison to the one she is set to receive next week from her husband, Blake Barrett.

They are the twin gifts of life and love, and they come in the form of a kidney that Blake will donate to Kelly in hopes of ending her 11-year battle with a kidney ailment that has progressed to a dire point of End Stage Renal Disease.

That Blake ended up being a match to being a direct match for Kelly is something of a medical miracle. But in many ways Fitzpatrick, now Kelly Barrett, has been a walking miracle herself since a kidney illness began to show itself in August 2006, just before she enrolled at Michigan to continue her academic and field hockey careers. Continue reading

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