An outpour of support is coming in for former Tennessee Titan Albert Haynesworth and his battle with kidney failure.
Haynesworth shared on Instragram Wednesday that after living with kidney disease for a few years, he’s in “dire need of a kidney” and that his kidley failed just five days ago.
His ask for help in the post – for someone to generously donate a kidney, leaving all the details for donors to make the call to Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
“The response to this particular post in such a narrow timeframe is absolutely the largest we have seen,” said Heather O’Dell, VUMC Advanced Practice Manager for Abdominal Transplant.
O’Dell said the count from donors so far totals 1,000 calls and counting.
“We are still getting calls about this post,” she said. “I’m hopeful he gets matched with a donor during this process, but also potential the recognition that there are other people waiting.”
Turns out, Haynesworth is one of more than 1,000 patients at the hospital waiting for a kidney.
“It continues to grow year-by-year,” said Dr. Rachel Forbes, VUMC Surgical Director of Living Donation.
Dr. Forbes said after donors express interest, blood testing is done.
If it’s a compatible match, the transplant can happen in as quickly as a month.
“We’ll work with Albert to find a donor out of 1,000 people, but only one person will need to donate to Albert Haynesworth,” said Dr. Forbes. “That leaves potential the of over 999 people who are interested in donating a kidney.”
At the Tennessee Kidney Foundation, CEO Heather Powell said education is key.
“A lot of people don’t realize you can donate a kidney and liver totally normal life,” said Powell.
A quality of life, donors can give to those in need.
“If you’re not able to donate to Albert who is probably a stranger to you, maybe you can consider donating to someone else,” said Dr. Forbes.
Dialysis is an option for patients with failing kidneys, but doctors say a kidney transplant can dramatically transport their quality of life.
If you are interested in donating, VUMC staff recommend filling out this form: https://www.vanderbilthealth.com/transplant/50306