An NFL great is recovering this week after spending five days in the hospital with COVID-19.
Former Jaguars tackle Tony Boselli on Thursday revealed the details of his battle with the illness he contracted as a result of the new coronavirus pandemic currently gripping the world. In an interview with the Florida Times-Union, Boselli described his condition, which worsened from a cold with mild congestion to a fever and an illness that progressed so quickly, he had to be admitted to the Mayo Clinic’s intensive care unit on March 25.
Boselli spent the next five days in the unit, where he was hooked up to two IVs and needed additional oxygen. His condition deteriorated, requiring doctors to increase his oxygen levels before he rebounded and eventually improved enough to go home.
“I guess the thought was there’s no way this is how the story is supposed to end here,” Boselli told the Times-Union. “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.
“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 said he sought a test for the illness after learning on March 18 he and his wife, Angie, had been around someone who had tested positive for COVID-19. His own test came back positive on March 20, eventually leading to his hospitalization. Boselli’s wife showed less severe symptoms and has fully recovered, while Boselli won’t yet declare himself fully recovered.
“I can still feel my lungs aren’t all the way back,” Boselli said. “I have no fever. The cough is under control. I get tired quicker, but I’m starting to answer emails.”
As the team’s first-ever draft selection (the Jacksonville franchise began play as an expansion team in the 1995 season), Boselli became one of the best Jaguars in the club’s history. Boselli played left tackle for the Jaguars from 1995-2001, making five Pro Bowls and earning three first-team All-Pro selections before injuries cut his career short. He was selected by the Houston Texans in the 2002 expansion draft but was unable to play due to injury.
Boselli has been named a Pro Football Hall of Fame finalist in each of the last four years. The Hall of Fame published a message of support and well wishes for Boselli on March 30 during his hospitalization.