From Hockey Rink to Hospital Bed

By Jennifer Lauerman, Executive Director
 
Former Gopher great hockey player and current local hockey analyst Pat Micheletti dealt with pain for years. He thought it was hip pain due to years of playing sports. However, in 2014 he discovered he was in kidney failure. His kidneys were functioning at just 13%. Pat and has family were shocked. Doctors believed his kidneys were failing due to years of ibuprofen use, taken to deal with pain after a career in hockey. 
Immediately after diagnosis, Pat was overwhelmed with the diet. In the first several months he lost 20 pounds because he was afraid eating too much salt would further damage his kidneys (according to Pat he almost completely stopped eating). But with his wife’s help, he eventually got the hang of eating a low sodium diet and grew stronger.  Over the next several months Pat’s large family (including seven siblings!) rallied together to find a kidney donor.  And in 2015 at Mayo Clinic, Pat received a transplant from his 62-year-old brother Jerry.
Today Pat takes nothing for granted. He’s a hockey announcer for the MN Wild and KFAN radio. He appreciates the importance of family more than ever. And now he wants to give back to the community who showed him such amazing support when he needed it.