Tuesday June 5, 2012

On what is usually the busiest day of the year for a Major League Baseball executive, Dan Duquette had his hands full.

Not only was he trying to sort out advice from scouts about Monday's Major League Baseball First Year Player Draft, but he also was tuned into the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, where his cousin Jim Duquette and Jim's daughter Lindsey both were having surgery.

His cousin was giving a kidney to his 10-year old daughter.

Dan Duquette called Lindsey a real hero -- and other members of the family agreed.

"There's no doubt about it. I wouldn't even know how to begin to explain it from where she gets all the strength from," said Pat Duquette, Jim's younger brother. "She is without a doubt one of the strongest human beings I've ever seen. She's got an incredible personality."

Lindsey and Jim Duquette, 46, are listed in fair condition after the successful procedure Monday morning at the Charlotte R. Bloomberg Children's Center at Johns Hopkins, according to hospital spokeswoman Michelle Potter.

Dan, Pat and Jim Duquette are all natives of Dalton.

"The family is all praying that Lindsey can have a healthy kidney and that she'll be able to accept the gift from her dad," Dan Duquette said, when reached at his office at Camden Yards, where he serves as Baltimore Orioles executive vice president of baseball operations. "We're hopeful that her quality of life can improve."

Lindsey has been suffering from Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis (FSGS), a disease that caused her to go into end-stage renal failure in May 2011. She has been battling the disease for eight years but after the end-stage renal failure, her kidneys were removed and a search was under way for a kidney donor.

"It's been probably a year that we knew she was going to need a donor," Pat Duquette said. "A lot of people in the family were tested. There were a series of tests. Jim was found to be one of the best matches."

Pat Duquette, who is the associate head basketball coach at Northeastern University, said that he and his brother had numerous discussions about the proposed surgery. But there wasn't much debate involved.

"The conversations about him doing it or not doing it were between him and his wife, Pam, and the doctors," Pat Duquette said. "I think it became really evident that it needed to be done.

"Sure, after that there were a lot of conversations between everybody in our family," he said. "It was more about what's best for Lindsey and how do we support her, and what can we do to help."

The Duquette family saga has been part of the Twitter universe for much of the day.

Major League Baseball's Twitter feed sent out the following: "Please keep MLB analyst @Jim_Duquette and his 10-year old daughter Lindsey in your thoughts today as Jim donates a kidney to Lindsey." Jim Duquette is a baseball analyst with Sirius XM radio.

Kay Adams, a sports host on Sirius XM radio, tweeted: "Amazing story ... wishing @Jim_Duquette a speedy recovery. Just an incredible thing to do."

To reach Howard Herman:
hherman@berkshireeagle.com,
or (413) 496-6253.
On Twitter: @howardherman