ESPN host Stephen A. Smith says he was hospitalized in the new year and doctors told him he would die if he was not vaccinated.
He shared details about his grim bout with the virus on Monday after returning to the air on the network’s First Take, saying: ‘It almost freaked me out.’
The 54-year-old began the episode by fearing his own death on January 1 after being hospitalized with a 103-degree fever and double pneumonia.
Smith said, ‘I didn’t know I was going to make it. ‘He told me, if I hadn’t been vaccinated, I wouldn’t be here. I was so bad.’
The hit show is filmed in Bristol, Connecticut, and Smith resides in New Jersey. Both states were fueled by an increase in cases driven by the highly-contagious Omron-variant at the time of their diagnosis.
ESPN commentator Stephen A. Smith, 54, returned to ESPN’s First Take on Monday and revealed he feared he might die after being hospitalized on New Year’s Day.
He shared photos of being vaccinated on his Twitter profile last March, when the vaccines became widely available to the general public. It is not known whether it has also been extended.
His First Tech colleagues – Max Kellerman and Molly Karim – had previously recovered from more mild bouts of the virus.
As the sporting fixture began sharing details of his illness, he repeatedly interrupted himself to cough and clear his throat, although he noted that he is now negative for the virus.
‘You’re assuming you’re going to have a fever, maybe a cough, such a huge headache – but you’ll get over it,’ he said. ‘It was so in many cases. In my case it was completely different.
She described waking up every night with a fever, chills, and a pool of sweat.
‘The headaches were massive,’ he said. ‘Cough a lot.’
Since the pandemic began, more than 850,000 Americans have died from the virus and another 65.8 million have contracted it.
Smith shared photos of himself being vaccinated last March, when the vaccines became widely available to the general public
It is not known whether that has also been extended to the virus, which has killed more than 850,000 Americans since the pandemic began.
He said on air: ‘He told me, if I hadn’t been vaccinated, I wouldn’t be here. how bad i was
Smith said he had pneumonia in both lungs, and his liver was also damaged by the disease.
“It devastated me to such an extent that even now I monitor my volume – go to the gym every day, take a walk before running,” he said. ‘Work your way up because I’m still not 100 percent with my lungs, but I’m COVID negative. I am on my way to recovery.
Smith said he “wouldn’t be here” if the team of doctors had not helped him recover.
He used his near-death experience to advocate for the audience to be fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, as his doctors kept it alive.
‘Vaccine, according to’ [my doctors] Saved me,’ he said.
Smith noted that ‘everyone is different,’ and mentioned her sister, who is a smoker but had recovered from COVID-19 within days.
Smith was diagnosed with double pneumonia and liver damage, and he said he was still not ‘100 percent’ when it came to lung function.
He told the audience, ‘I think one thing to emphasize is the importance, no matter how you feel about the vaccine, that mask is important.
‘I? I don’t smoke and it almost knocked me out,’ the host continued.
He also cited wearing of proper masks to deal with the pandemic.
He said, ‘I think the importance of one thing should be emphasized, no matter how you feel about the vaccine, that mask is important.
‘The reason why the mask is so important is because you don’t know how the next person is affected. The way I am affected is different from the way you are affected.’
He urged his fans to ‘think about your fellow men and women, not just yourself when it comes to this.’
Smith noted that in the past month he had spent more sick days in the business than in his “28-year combined career”, even though he was “enthusiastic” to get back to work.
‘I can’t tell you how lucky and honestly blessed I am to be sitting here with you guys today, because two and a half, three weeks ago, I had no idea I was going to make it,’ before getting down to business He finished his introduction.
He seemed more flamboyant later in the broadcast, when he pulled out a Cowboys hat and grabbed a cigar about the Dallas Cowboys’ season-ending defeat to the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday.
He seemed more flamboyant later in the broadcast, when he pulled out a Cowboys hat and grabbed a cigar to tell about the Dallas Cowboys’ season-ending loss to the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday.