After two years of waiting, former NFL defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth has a new kidney.
Haynesworth posted a photo on Instagram announcing he had undergone a successful transplant, thanks to Zach Penny, a physical therapist assistant from Crossett, Arkansas, who donated his healthy left kidney to Haynesworth.
In July 2019, Haynesworth posted on Instagram that he’d “been battling kidney disease for a few years now the time has come family, friends and fans I’m in dire need of a kidney mine have finally failed me on July 7 2019.”
Haynesworth underwent surgery April 15 at Vanderbilt Hospital to receive new life with Penny’s kidney. He said Penny was a “real living Angel.”
“Now, I feel better,” Haynesworth told Paul Kuharsky of PaulKuharsky.com. “I see changes in my body. Now I am kind of discovering another new norm.”
The 39-year-old said he took a Toradol shot before nearly every one of the 123 NFL games he played in 10 seasons and said it contributed to his kidney failure.
“A lot of it, honestly, is from the crap we used to take,” Haynesworth said. “At 33, two years out of the league, my kidney function was below 50%. So it has to be the junk that we were taking, like Toradol,” he said. “Everybody used to line up to get their Toradol shots and take the pills afterward and all of that … I guarantee that had a lot to do with it because that really kills the kidneys.”
Haynesworth entered the league in 2002 and spent his first seven seasons with the Tennessee Titans. He played for what we now know as the Washington Football Team from 2009 through 2010, before finishing his career in Tampa Bay in 2011.