Ex-Jaguars OL Tony Boselli Says COVID-19 'Buried' Him Upon Release from Hospital

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistApril 2, 2020

Former Jacksonville Jaguars player Tony Boselli is honored on the field during halftime of an NFL football game against the New Orleans Saints Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)
Phelan M. Ebenhack/Associated Press

Former NFL offensive lineman Tony Boselli and his wife, Angie, were diagnosed with COVID-19 in March and the Jacksonville Jaguars great was hospitalized at the Mayo Clinic after his condition grew severe.

"For whatever reason, [COVID-19] buried me and didn't do much to her," Boselli told Jacksonville.com. "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 tested positive on March 20 and first broke a fever and began feeling "lousy" on March 18. Five days after his test, Boselli said he could "barely move" and began to feel wheezing in his chest. A chest X-ray revealed low oxygen levels, and he was admitted to the Mayo Clinic, eventually ending up in the intensive care unit and put on oxygen and two IVs. 

Throughout the ordeal, Boselli said he lost 20 pounds and began worrying that he could die from the virus:

"I guess the thought was there's no way this is how the story is supposed to end here. This is nuts. I never felt like, 'Poor me, or why me?' You get sick, it happens. But the fact I was in the hospital with the coronavirus and crazy thoughts were going through my mind, like, 'I can't believe this is going on.'

"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. I can't remember exactly what the doctor said, something about the machine needing to go to another level for more oxygen if that didn't work.

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"Whatever drugs they were giving me, in combination with the oxygen, it got me to where I needed to be. I never had to find out what that next level was."

Boselli also urged people to take the threat of the coronavirus seriously, noting that he couldn't "imagine anyone who has underlying medical issues already having to go through what I did [and surviving]." He urged people to consider the safety and well-being of those around them and to take precautions to protect those at risk. 

The 47-year-old spent eight seasons in the NFL, seven with the Jaguars. He missed just eight games in his first six seasons before a shoulder injury cut his career short. He's been a Hall of Fame finalist four times after a decorated career that included five Pro Bowl selections and three first-team All-Pro selections. 

There have now been 236,339 reported COVID-19 cases in the United States, per CNN.com, with 5,648 deaths.