Former Jacksonville Jaguar, Tony Boselli is in recovery from coronavirus and was recently interviewed by ESPN to recount his experience. Initially, Boselli recalls not even feeling that sick, and even when it became more difficult to breathe he recalls expecting to be treated with some IV fluids and traditional antibiotics and be sent on his way, however, the medical staff at the Mayo Clinic had a much different diagnosis.
Doctors told the Pro Football Hall of Fame finalist upon arrival that he would immediately need to be admitted into the intensive care unit, where he would go on to spend five days in the clinic fighting COVID-19. It was in those first moments that Boselli realized the severity of his situation and the world’s as well.
“It was kind of fuzzy, but I remember [the doctor] saying, ‘If we don’t get your oxygen stabilized, we’re going to have to go to the next level. I remember laying there thinking, ‘What do you mean, if this doesn’t work?’ He says, ‘We don’t know what direction this is going to go.’ I don’t know if I ever was like I thought I was going to die, but I remember having the conversation with myself: I don’t want to die here,” Boselli said.
Boselli went on to explain that luckily his oxygen levels improved enough over the first 24 hours that he never had to find out what that “next level” would’ve been. He went on to spend half of his time in the hospital in the ICU and the other half in a standard isolation room for patients suffering from coronavirus.
After those initial 24 hours, Boselli began his relatively quick recovery process that would allow him to eventually go home without needing any additional oxygen while there. Initially, the 47-year-old former star athlete said he first began feeling sick in the middle of March, but disregarded it as a cold or allergies. Two days later he recalls feeling much worse and receiving a phone call in which he learned that he had recently made contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19, and the next day he got himself tested.
It took two days for Boselli to receive the results that he also was positive, and said over the course of those four days he felt the worse he had throughout the entire ordeal. He said he barely was able to sleep due to his coughing and was heavily wheezing daily, which prompted his general physician to send him to Mayo Clinic to recover. Due to his diagnosis, his family was obviously in self-quarantine to protect themselves, however, his wife (Angie) also tested positive for COVID-19 but she only had minor symptoms and was able to recover at home in isolation.
“The only way to communicate was via text messages whenever [I] had the energy. The only people who could come in we’re health care workers, and they had to be in their full protective equipment. They were great, though. Those doctors and PA’s and nurses and techs, everyone, they’re amazing. These people were absolutely amazing. Superstars,” Boselli recalls.
Boselli says he still feels weak, is battling fatigue daily, has barely any appetite and still has a bit of a cough left over, however, this past Wednesday he tested negative for the virus, so now it’s all about rest and recovery, as it is for most. While Boselli joked that he “wouldn’t be running marathons anytime soon,” he is “feeling better and on the right side of this thing” now, and is encouraging all individuals to listen to their government and healthcare workers and staying home and isolated as much as possible.
Eric Mastrota is a Contributing Editor at The National Digest based in New York. A graduate of SUNY New Paltz, he reports on world news, culture, and lifestyle. You can reach him at email@example.com.