Armonty Bryant needs a kidney.
The former NFL defensive end, who was forced out of the league after a May 2018 physical with the Raiders that revealed his health troubles, is no the 270 pound beast he was out on the field that racked up 11.5 sacks in 36 games. That life is over, and if he doesn’t receive the help that he so desperately needs, his life will be permanently over.
The 2013 seventh-round pick currently resides in San Diego, weighing in at about 230 pounds, some 40 pounds smaller than his playing weight while in the league.
“They say the kidney is a silent killer. It’s true because I can tell you right now, I had nothing wrong with me,” Bryant said to ESPN’s Michael Rothstein.
“I had a little back issue, but that’s about it. I never thought that this could end my career basically.”
Raiders team doctors discovered elevated potassium levels in his test results and ordered him to an emergency room. From there, his blood pressure spiked to nearly 200 and he was forced to switch blood pressure medication. Doctors would soon tell him his football career was over.
“In the beginning, I didn’t even have an appetite,” Bryant told ESPN in an extensive feature. “I couldn’t eat before starting dialysis. I was eating one to two meals a day, not really even hungry. I’ve lost so much weight and it’s so depressing. It’s not me, you know?
“When I look in the mirror, I don’t see myself. I see a sick person. I see a tube coming out of my stomach. I don’t see Armonty Bryant,” he said.
Alongside Bryant is Kim, his wife, who is currently pregnant.
“This is completely depressing him,” Kim said. “He’s like any other football player who stops playing football; he has the hard time of trying to transition into a new life or a new passion or a new career or new job. But he doesn’t even have that option because he can’t work. He’s disabled.
“Even if he wanted to go, he wants to go out and pursue something or find a new passion or find a new job and he can’t.”
Bryant hasn’t worked since that Raiders physical, which is why he is desperately asking for a kidney.
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“I need a kidney,” Bryant said. “And I want people to know you don’t have to be a match for me to donate a kidney. Why not save someone else’s life and mine at the same time?
“… People get so hung up on, ‘Oh, I’m not a match for you, I don’t want to give my kidney to you.’ Like, who cares? You could potentially save someone else’s life. Like yeah, you saved a friend but yeah, you saved two people. Two is better than one, right?”