By writer to www.presstelegram.com
Matt Howard on Wednesday morning sounded good as he spoke in upbeat tones from his hospital mattress at Cedars-Sinai Medical Heart in Los Angeles.
However the longtime Paramount High football coach is a bit bummed about nonetheless being there greater than every week after his Feb. 23 kidney transplant, and he isn’t thrilled about having to overlook the upcoming season that can start March 26 for the Pirates.
Howard, 44, has been battling kidney illness for the previous six years. He’s saved it to himself, for essentially the most half. On this present day he spoke overtly concerning the transplant that was made attainable by his sister, Gail, who donated one among her kidneys.
She was launched from the hospital this previous Thursday.
“My sister’s utterly good, she’s residence and therapeutic,” Howard mentioned.
His homecoming has been deterred.
“For me, they’re having a number of difficulties,” Howard mentioned. “They assume there is likely to be like some slight rejection occurring, in order that’s why I’m nonetheless within the hospital. I ought to have been launched final week.”
Howard mentioned he will get a number of blood exams every day and his docs should not utterly pleased with the outcomes.
“So at present, really, at 11 o’clock I’ve gotta go get a biopsy achieved on the brand new kidney and that’s going to provide them an thought of what’s occurring,” Howard mentioned. “Do they should alter the drugs, the steroids, you understand, the anti-rejection therapy? No matter they should do to get it to start out working higher.”
He didn’t appear involved.
“The docs right here at Cedars are unbelievable, most likely a few of the greatest round,” Howard mentioned. “And so they’ve assured me that it’s going to work out. It’s simply that in about 12% of transplant instances, this occurs and so they have slightly little bit of issue getting the kidney to react and get going.
“However they’ll determine it out. It simply takes longer than regular.”
Howard mentioned this example got here to a head this previous summer time.
“In June my kidneys simply utterly give up working,” he mentioned, “so I needed to go on dialysis and I’ve been on dialysis since June, after which fortunately my sister was the primary one to attempt to be a match and he or she was a match.”
His transplant was initially scheduled for early January, however was postponed due to COVID-19.
Howard plans to educate the Pirates for the 2021 fall season, his well being allowing. The group this spring season might be run by assistant coach Anthony Morelli.
“Yeah, it’ll be good as issues get again to regular with out the COVID, and I’ll be wholesome,” Howard mentioned. “For the final six years, I’ve simply been on the market teaching. And I’m not a really public individual. I by no means advised anyone I had kidney illness or something, you understand what I imply?
“And so I’m simply on the market teaching with not loads of vitality, so it’ll be good to get again to some full-strength vitality.”
He can’t get again quickly sufficient, Paramount athletic director Alex Acosta mentioned.
“Nicely, I’ll inform you, it’s robust as a result of he does a lot for the varsity, clearly, however he does a lot for the soccer program on the sector and off the sector,” Acosta mentioned of Howard, who has coached the group for 10 years.
“All coaches most likely do the identical. However folks from the surface wanting in don’t notice the quantity of stuff, Matt particularly, does for the children off the sector. You realize, simply making an attempt to get them checked out, making an attempt to ensure their grades are good, simply making an attempt to make it possible for they’re consuming correctly.”
Morelli echoed that sentiment.
“Nicely, he’s irreplaceable,” Morelli mentioned. “Coach Howard, he’s going to be missed, however it appears like issues are going effectively and he’s on the street to restoration.”
Morelli is conscious of why Howard stays hospitalized.
“Yeah, I’m simply being upbeat, too, about it and really optimistic,” Morelli mentioned. “I believe all the things’s going to be nice. Simply hope for the very best. … Matt and I are fairly shut and I anticipate he’s going to return by means of this sense nice in comparison with earlier than the surgical procedure.”
Acosta gave the last word testimonial on Howard.
“I inform him on a regular basis that the day he decides that he doesn’t wish to coach soccer anymore, Paramount soccer’s going to be in bother for some time,” Acosta mentioned.
The Pirates are coming off a 2019 season through which they went 11-2 total, gained the San Gabriel Valley League title with a 5-Zero document and made it to the CIF-SS Division 4 semifinals earlier than falling to eventual champion San Juan Hills 29-28.