Cincinnati Bengals team chaplain LaMorris Crawford is almost fully recovered after he tested positive for COVID-19 late last month.
The early stages of his battle against the disease that has ravaged the world in recent months, however, were anything but easy.
“I thought I was going to die,” Crawford said, via the Cincinnati Enquirer.
Crawford woke up in the middle of the night on March 20, snuck out of bed so as to not wake his wife and went to the bathroom. Minutes later, the 40-year-old was lying on the bathroom floor. He was stuck.
Crawford had first started feeling sick a few days prior, coming down with a bit of fatigue and a minor cough. Being a relatively healthy person — Crawford eats healthy, exercises normally and doesn’t smoke or drink — he didn’t think much of it.
Suddenly, though, his condition took a significant turn for the worst.
“I literally thought I was going to die. I couldn’t move,” Crawford said, via the Cincinnati Enquirer. “I had a loss of smell, high fever, chills, loss of taste and fatigue.”
In those moments lying on the bathroom floor, Crawford had even come to peace with dying in that spot. He was in that much pain.
His biggest worry, though, was leaving his wife, Megan, alone with their four young children.
It wasn’t until he heard Megan call out to him that Crawford realized he could make it.
Megan quickly rushed Crawford to the hospital. Nearly a week later, after Crawford had returned home and quarantined himself off from the rest of his family, the news was official. He had tested positive for the coronavirus, which made him one of more than 424,000 Americans to have done so as of Wednesday afternoon, according to The New York Times.
Now that he’s almost back to normal, Crawford is hoping to use his position with the Bengals — where he’s gearing up for his eighth season with the team — to help others. He’s urging people to follow social distancing guidelines and to stay at home, even if that means skipping church.
“I think it’s socially responsible to recognize that my opinion affects other people … Hopefully it’ll kick in that it’s not just about me. Each of us hold a responsibility in the community to be wise and adhere to what the government is saying,” Crawford said, via the Cincinnati Enquirer. “It’s not about you, it’s about us … We are also taught in the Bible to submit and honoring government authority. With social media and social conferencing, it would be the wise thing to still teach and preach the message, but let’s do it in a wise way to where we think about others. This virus is so sneaky that there’s no point in taking a chance of passing it, especially in a church setting.”
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