Reporting John McDevitt
By John McDevitt
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - Entertainer Bobby Rydell is expected to be released later today from a center city hospital. The ’60s teen idol underwent life saving organ transplants.
“Frankie Avalon called me the other day — he went to church, prayed,” Rydell said.
Bobby Rydell, 70, was counting his blessings.
“It’s truly a miracle,” he said.
Bobby Rydell, whose real name is Robert Ridarelli, needed a new liver and kidney. His doctor was not expecting him to live much longer without transplant surgery.
“Maybe a month,” Rydell recalls.
The surgery took place last week. Dr. Cataldo Doria is the director of the division of transplantation at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital.
“This was a particularly special transplant because we were able to divide the one liver and give a portion of the liver to a pediatric recipient and give the larger portion to Mr. Ridarelli.”
Several other adults also received organs from the donor.
“The doctor and I we are going to work and make people aware of organ donorship. It’s very, very important,” Rydell said. “It’s the gift of life.”