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An Unbreakable Bond: Brian Proffitt and Scott Carroll

May 21, 2008 09:17 AM

In a sport with love as one of the scores, it is inevitable to uncover inspiring, life-affirming stories. Over the next five days, Tennismonth.com will feature five uplifting and inspiring stories. The first is a husband-wife tale of a shared diagnosis and boundless determination. Two others prove the depths of devotion possible when one partner – whether on the court or in life – is plagued by an organ failure. Another is about how tennis allowed one women to get her life back. The final story is how one man’s talent at his job translates to success on the courts. Please be sure to check back each morning this week to read another inspirational story.

By Holly Goddard

Brian Proffitt and Scott Carroll became friends and doubles partners after joining a Chattanooga, Tenn., combo doubles team captained by their mutual friend, Tony Hicks. In 1996, the team traveled to the USTA League 4.0 National Championships, and Brian was a key player in capturing the national title.


As the years went by, the group became more than teammates. Playing tennis together had helped form genuine friendships, the depth of which was never more apparent than when Proffitt was diagnosed with kidney failure four years ago. Faced with deciding between dialysis for the rest of his life or a transplant, Proffitt began searching for a possible donor. And he had to look no farther than the tennis court. Both Hicks and Carroll stepped up.

After days of grueling tests, it was determined that Carroll was a suitable match for his doubles partner. By that time, both of Proffitt’s kidneys were barely functioning, making preparing for surgery difficult. But seeing his doubles partner grow weaker and weaker only reassured Carroll that he had made the right decision. The pair entered Atlanta’s Emory Hospital and underwent the procedure side by side.

“The day after surgery, I felt like a light switch went off in my body. I instantly wanted to go run three miles and play tennis,” said Proffitt.

Four years later, the team is best known in Chattanooga as “K1” and “K3.” Carroll is “K1” because he is left with one kidney; Proffitt is “K3” because he’s had three kidneys. If this team with the unbreakable bond wants to stay together, however, they will have to move up, as “K1” was recently promoted to 4.5.




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