By 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.

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“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.

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“Maybe a month,” Rydell recalls.

(Bobby Rydell chats with his doctor at Jefferson Hospital following liver-kidney transplant surgery. Credit: John McDevitt)


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.

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“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.”