NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Once a premier defensive lineman who could leapfrog blockers to make a crucial stop for the Titans at what’s now Nissan Stadium, Albert Haynesworth was a different man in recent years, battling kidney disease and, ultimately, waiting in line for a transplant.

“I felt horrible,” he said. “You don’t understand how many things your kidneys affect when they don’t work. I mean, my skin, my strength, holding water, my overall feeling. I had to really, really limit myself on fluids. It was awful. It became the new norm for me.”


Courtesy Albert Haynesworth

Three times a week he endured nearly five hours of dialysis.

Then a hero emerged, a physical therapist assistant from Crossett, Ark. who had twice before offered to donate his kidney but saw those opportunities for his great generosity dissipate.

On April 15th, Dr. David Shaffer of Vanderbilt Hospital stacked Zach Penny’s healthy, left kidney on top of Haynesworth’s right kidney, giving him a bulge and much more.

“Now I feel better, I see changes in my body,” Haynesworth said. “Now I am kind of discovering another new norm.”

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