On Monday, San Jose State LB Jared Leaf spoke about the fire that engulfed his apartment in April.
Leaf suffered second-degree burns to much of his upper body – the worst pain he's ever felt in his life, he said – after having to dash from his bedroom to the door of his third-floor apartment.
He was in his bedroom asleep after an acting class when the fire happened and saw smoke coming from underneath his door. After running through the possible scenarios of what the smoke could be coming from, his roommate called him to tell him the apartment was on fire.
He took a breath of air from his window and made a break for the door, the only way to get out.
"And I just ran to the window, took a breath of fresh air, held it and ran out the door and ran through blackness and then red and orange, and then just light," Leaf said.
(Video of his complete comments is above, and his recollection of the night is fear-inducing.)
After he was taken to the hospital, Leaf said he was in a medically induced coma for two weeks and intubated. He had to have skin grafts taken from his thighs for burns on his back. His hands were also burned so badly that he was unable to make a fist at first.
Leaf said he's waiting on clearance to see if he can continue his football career.
"Only time will tell at this point. Like I said, I feel exponentially better every day. So I'll probably feel good enough to play one day but I have to get cleared by a doctor. And football being a violent sport, I've got to think about the sensitivity of my skin because right now, as the doctors say, it's like baby skin basically. It's really sensitive. But there's no telling how quickly I'll heal and how soon I'll be able to get cleared."
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