Former Jacksonville Jaguars great Tony Boselli was diagnosed with COVID-19, the former All-Pro offensive tackle confirmed Thursday.
The 47-year-old described a harrowing experience that hospitalized him for five days in an interview with The Florida Times-Union.
“I guess the thought was there’s no way this is how the story is supposed to end here,” Boselli said. “This is nuts ... The worst was my second day in ICU when they were upping my oxygen levels. That was probably the lowest, scariest moment. I had no family around me.”
Boselli’s wife also tested positive
Boselli said that he and his wife Angie tested positive, and his case was more severe. He entered the ICU unit at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville on March 25 when he was hooked up to two IVs and given oxygen. He remained there until March 30 before being released.
“For whatever reason, it buried me and didn’t do much to her,” Boselli said. “She’s obviously much tougher than I am. She had 7-10 days where she didn’t feel like herself, but her symptoms were mild.”
Boselli said that he’s 20 pounds lighter, still tired and can feel it in his lungs, but he’s through the worst of his experience after not being sure he would live.
Boselli tried to keep news quiet
Reports surfaced of Boselli’s diagnosis last week, but he didn’t go public with the news until Angie and their five children were properly protected, according to the Times-Union. He also wanted to privately inform people he may have exposed.
Boselli also spoke with Jaguars Happy Hour, a video series on the team’s official site. He thanked local media for “respecting my privacy” and said that Bleacher Report’s Mike Freeman “decided on his own without ever even trying to reach out to me” to report the news.
Boselli said that he started feeling symptoms after a round of golf at Jacksonville’s Sawgrass Country Club on March 16 and felt “lousier” with a fever two days later. After receiving a phone call informing him someone he’d been in contact with was diagnosed, he was tested and confirmed. His condition worsened, and a week later he was in the ICU.
Boselli’s advice for the public
He thanked the “amazing” medical staff that saw him through his recovery and warned people not to take the coronavirus lightly.
“I can’t imagine anyone who has underlying medical issues already having to go through what I did [and surviving],” Boselli said. “As all of us look at this coronavirus, you have to look at other people and the impact this could have on them. The last thing we want is to put people who are vulnerable at risk. There were people dying in the hospital, so it’s real.
“The thought I would leave with is this: You might be OK, but your neighbor might not be. Try to think of everyone in this situation.”
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