Pompano Beach, FL --- Former Standardbred trainer Robert “Bobby” Hiel, 63, underwent a successful kidney transplant at Miami’s Jackson Memorial Hospital on March 15. The operation lasted a little over seven hours with nine hours of preparation time prior to the actual surgery.
Bobby had been on dialysis and a kidney waiting list for more than two years. He received a call at about 5 a.m. on the morning of March 15 that they had a kidney for him and he had an hour to get over to the hospital. His son Stephen drove him to the hospital. The operation was a success and Bobby is recovering and should be released from the hospital shortly.
Bobby trained horses at Roosevelt and Yonkers Raceway in the 1970s and 1980s. He trained for the Carmine Abbatiello Stable and trained for celebrities such as Mickey Rooney, Connie Francis, Jerry Vale and Lou Pinella. In 1986 he was the leading New York trainer.
He retired from training horses in the 1990s and shortly thereafter moved to Pompano Beach, Fla.
Mike Lachance always visits with Bobby when he is in Florida as he was last week when he and Lucien Fontaine had dinner with Bobby.