NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Matt and Garrett have a big ask.
They need a kidney.
But, it’s not for them. It’s for their teammate and friend, Ricky Coleman.
Matt Sedgwick, Garrett Treadwell and Coleman were teammates at Cumberland University and won an NAIA Baseball National Championship in 2014.
“They don’t come better,” said Sedgwick or as he’s known by his teammates, “Sedge.” “Those guys that were on that 2014 team with us, that bond’s always going to be there, but there are some guys you keep closer contact with than others. Garrett and Ricky are definitely two of those on that list. They’d do anything for you and we’re trying to do anything we can for him.”
Earlier this year, Coleman was hospitalized for two weeks with pneumonia. Coleman was a three-sport athlete at the University School of Nashville and went on to play baseball at both Lipscomb and Cumberland.
From there, multiple doctors visits revealed a more serious issue. His kidneys were not operating at full capacity, or close to it.
“He was kind of vague at that point and so I was just asking some very basic questions,” said Treadwell. “He (Coleman) made it seem like it was all going to be OK. No cause for alarm or anything like that.”
Treadwell, who lives a few miles away from Coleman in California, contacted Sedgwick who still lives in Middle Tennessee.
“He was like, “Hey, no one knows yet because he hasn’t told anyone, but Rick’s not doing good and at that point, I don’t know how much Garrett (Treadwell) knew,” said Sedgwick. “The only thing I knew was he was in the hospital, his kidneys were like 50% function or less, but we weren’t really sure. He was doing dialysis so as soon as I got off the phone with Garrett, I texted Ricky and I was like, “Hey you OK, what’s going on?”‘
Three days after finding out about their friend, Treadwell and Sedgwick created a GoFundMe account for his medical expenses. Coleman is currently out of the hospital but undergoing 6 to 8 hours a day of dialysis. So while the financial aspect is incredibly helpful, it’s only a Band-Aid to the bigger problem.
“Outside of just the teammates on the baseball team, there were just guys and gals who went to Cumberland who had kind of contacted me over the past few weeks and they’re like, “What can we do,? Obviously, financially, but aside from basically giving my kidney up, how can I help Ricky?”‘ said Treadwell.
A father himself, Sedgwick understands the incredibly difficult ask, but also wants his friend to have a chance to experience fatherhood himself.
“I know my bond with my kids, I won’t give it up for anything. I want Ricky to have that,” he said.
Coleman’s fiance, Debbie, is 6 months pregnant.
“When you’re talking about people who are maybe 30 right now, maybe just starting to have kids or starting to have families, obviously they’re going to selfishly be thinking about their own health and their own well-being and what that would mean to give up their kidney; which I don’t blame anyone for.” said Treadwell. “I totally understand that, so really just trying to get the word out.”
Whether it’s through a paired exchange program or through a perfect-match donor, finding a kidney for Coleman will feel like Christmas morning, according to Sedgwick.
“It would kind of restore a little faith in humanity that a guy as just awesome that Ricky is, the story turned out how it should. Justice prevailed, you know all those corny, cheesy things, but it would just mean that there’s hope out there for not only Rick, but other people going through it too.”