Golden Gopher hockey great Pat Micheletti is recovering after undergoing a successful kidney transplant at Mayo Clinic in Rochester Wednesday morning.
Pat's older brother Jerry donated the kidney: “That’s unconditional love right there. He saved my dad’s life," Pat's son Alex told Michael Russo of the Star Tribune.
Micheletti, 51 and going strong, suffered through five years of pain caused by his faltering kidney, although he thought he was dealing with hip pain from years of high-level hockey.
The Star Tribune notes that doctors believe his kidneys were failing due to years of taking the pain reliever Motrin.
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The Micheletti family is synonymous with hockey success in Minnesota. Hailing from Hibbing – the same hometown that delivered all-time greats Bob Dylan, Roger Maris and Kevin McHale – Pat wound up playing for the Gophers and became one of the university's greatest players.
He ranks second all-time in school history with 269 points (120 goals). He was a Hobey Baker Award finalist, All-WCHA player and First Team All-American in 1984-85 after scoring 48 goals and tallying 96 points. It's the second greatest individual scoring season in Gopher hockey history, according to the Gophers.
Micheletti was inducted into the University of Minnesota “M” Club Hall of Fame last year.
The Minnesota hockey great is still heard as a broadcaster on KFAN (100.3 FM) and 1500 ESPN during the Gophers and Wild/NHL seasons.
On a personal note, I'd like to wish Pat the best going forward. And like his advice to the Minnesota Wild when trying to score against Chicago goalie Corey Crawford, "shoot high," Pat.