A blessing in disguise. Cameron Smith has discovered he needs life-saving surgery to fix a heart condition — a diagnosis that was made had only after he tested positive for the coronavirus.
The Minnesota Vikings linebacker, 23, announced via Instagram on Saturday, August 8, that he will miss the entire 2020 football season due to having a bicuspid aortic valve. The abnormality occurs when the aorta has only two cusps instead of three.
“Although this will, unfortunately, end my 2020 season, it is really a blessing that we found this as my heart is severely enlarged and wouldn’t have lasted much longer,” Smith wrote. “I found this out after I tested positive for COVID and had to have further testing done as protocol.”
He added, “There is a surgery that will allow me to continue to play football as soon as I am healed and cleared and I didn’t think twice about going with that one. By no means am I ready to be done playing football, there is still so much more I want to accomplish on the field. I’m going to attack this like everything else I have in life.”
Before his NFL career, Smith was a four-year starter for the Trojans at the University of Southern California. He was drafted to the Vikings in 2019.
Although the athlete found a silver lining in his COVID-19 diagnosis, other celebrities have shared their troubling experiences with the illness. Alyssa Milano revealed on Wednesday, August 5, that she recently tested positive for COVID-19 antibodies even though she tested negative for the sickness twice in March.
“This was me on April 2nd after being sick for 2 weeks,” the Charmed alum, 47, captioned a photo of herself wearing a breathing apparatus via Instagram. “I had never been this kind of sick. Everything hurt. Loss of smell. It felt like an elephant was sitting on my chest. I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t keep food in me. I lost 9 pounds in 2 weeks. I was confused. Low grade fever. And the headaches were horrible.”
Milano said that she took a COVID-19 antibodies finger prick test, but the results were also negative. However, she tested positive for antibodies after she recently took another test from a blood draw.
“I just want you to be aware that our testing system is flawed and we don’t know the real numbers,” she explained. “I also want you to know, this illness is not a hoax. I thought I was dying. It felt like I was dying. I will be donating my plasma with hopes that I might save a life.”