In SummaryThe ESPN star contracted COVID-19 in December and said he nearly died after falling severely ill.
Stephen A. Smith returned to his television show First Take on Monday after fighting COVID-19 for a month, according to the New York Post.
The ESPN personality opened up to the Post about his battle with the disease, sharing that he was hospitalized over the New Year and worried that he was close to death.
“For me personally, it hit me differently,” he said. “You’re assuming that you’ll have a fever, might have a cough, gonna have that massive headache—but you’ll get over it. In a lot of cases that was the case. In my case, it was totally different.”
Smith, who tested positive in mid-December, said things got worse right before he had to check into the hospital.
“I had 103-degree fever every night. Woke up with chills and a pool of sweat. Headaches were massive. Coughing profusely. And it got to a point where right before New Year’s Eve, I was in the hospital into New Year’s Day. That’s how I brought in the New Year,” he said.
He said that his doctor informed him that the COVID-19 vaccine most likely saved his life.
“They told me, had I not been vaccinated, I wouldn’t be here. That’s how bad it was. I had pneumonia in both lungs. My liver was bad. It had ravaged me to the point where even now I have [to] monitor my volume—get to the gym every day, walk before you run. Work your way back because I’m still not 100 percent with my lungs, but I’m COVID negative. I’m on the road to recovery,” Smith told the Post.
While he did not say outright that people should get vaccinated against the virus, he did urge people to wear masks, saying, “The reason why the mask is so important is you don’t know how the next person is affected. How I’m affected is different from you are affected.”