AceShowbiz - Stephen A. Smith has detailed his scary battle with COVID-19 when he made his return to "First Take". Sharing his serious bout with the deadly virus, the ESPN commentator revealed that "it almost took [him] out."
In the Monday, January 17 episode of the show, the 54-year-old said that he feared he might die after he was hospitalized with a 103-degree fever and double pneumonia on January 1. "I didn't know if I was going to make it," he shared. "[The doctors] told me, had I not been vaccinated, I wouldn't be here. That's how bad I was."
"For me personally, it hit me differently," Stephen added. "You're assuming that you'll have a fever, might have a cough, gonna have that massive headache, but you'll get over it," he continued. "In a lot of cases that was the case. In my case, it was totally different."
Stephen further shared that he "had 103-degree fever every night" and "woke up with chills and a pool of sweat." The sports TV personality also noted that his headaches "were massive" and he was "coughing profusely." He added, "Before New Year's Eve, I was in the hospital into New Year's Day. That's how I brought in the New Year."
"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," Stephen told the viewers. He then admitted that though he's "still not 100 percent with [his] lungs," he's already tested negative for COVID. "I'm on the road to recovery," he stressed.
Stephen went on to advocate for people to wear masks to protect others. "Everybody's different," he began. "My sister smokes and she had COVID and she was fine in 3-4 days. Me? I don't smoke and it almost took me out."
"I think the one thing to emphasize the importance of, no matter how you feel about the vaccine, that mask is important," Stephen pointed out. He then explained, "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."
Stephen first announced his COVID diagnosis late last month. At the time, he said, "I've tested positive for COVID-19, I have the coronavirus." He also unveiled that he experienced "mild symptoms," before noting that he had previously received the Pfizer vaccine.