Dec 27, 2012
University Of Pikeville Coach Battles Kidney Disease

Louisville Courier-Journal

http://www.courier-journal.com/article/20121226/SPORTS12/312260098/Kelly-Wells-Kidney-disease

It should have been the best of times for Kelly Wells.

The University of Pikeville basketball coach made the Oct. 31 road trip to the University of Louisville with his 10-year daughter Kaylee in tow. His NAIA team was playing an exhibition game against the No. 2-ranked Cardinals at the KFC Yum! Center.

Plus, the Pikeville Bears would receive a $25, 000 check from U of L, a big help in funding Pikeville’s $2 million annual athletic department budget.

But on game day, Wells began experiencing discomfort in his stomach that progressively worsened. Hours before tip-off there was blood in his urine and pain in the left side of his abdomen.

That’s where his transplanted kidney is — the one donated to him by his wife in 2004 — and he wondered, was it a kidney rejection, or something worse?

The worry didn’t stop the son of a coach from doing what he has always done — he coached. But during warm-ups, he turned to Elisha Justice, a Pikeville guard and U of L transfer who was sidelined with a knee injury.

“He asked me to say a prayer for him, Justice said. He didn’t need to be at that game because of the way he was feeling. But coach Wells, he puts the team first. He wasn’t about to leave. He never quit on us. And right after that game, he had to go.”

Immediately after Pikeville lost 93-57, Wells was driven by the police to Jewish Hospital.

“This was supposed to be fun, said the 41-year-old who led the Bears to the 2011 NAIA national championship. But it was just a miserable night for me.”

University Of Pikeville Coach Battles Kidney Disease

Louisville Courier-Journal

http://www.courier-journal.com/article/20121226/SPORTS12/312260098/Kelly-Wells-Kidney-disease

It should have been the best of times for Kelly Wells.

The University of Pikeville basketball coach made the Oct. 31 road trip to the University of Louisville with his 10-year daughter Kaylee in tow. His NAIA team was playing an exhibition game against the No. 2-ranked Cardinals at the KFC Yum! Center.

Plus, the Pikeville Bears would receive a $25, 000 check from U of L, a big help in funding Pikeville’s $2 million annual athletic department budget.

But on game day, Wells began experiencing discomfort in his stomach that progressively worsened. Hours before tip-off there was blood in his urine and pain in the left side of his abdomen.

That’s where his transplanted kidney is — the one donated to him by his wife in 2004 — and he wondered, was it a kidney rejection, or something worse?

The worry didn’t stop the son of a coach from doing what he has always done — he coached. But during warm-ups, he turned to Elisha Justice, a Pikeville guard and U of L transfer who was sidelined with a knee injury.

“He asked me to say a prayer for him, Justice said. He didn’t need to be at that game because of the way he was feeling. But coach Wells, he puts the team first. He wasn’t about to leave. He never quit on us. And right after that game, he had to go.”

Immediately after Pikeville lost 93-57, Wells was driven by the police to Jewish Hospital.

“This was supposed to be fun, said the 41-year-old who led the Bears to the 2011 NAIA national championship. But it was just a miserable night for me.”






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