Andrew Boselli: Seeing father battle COVID-19 was a reality check

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Andrew Boselli saw his father struggling like never before.

That’s when the reality of what COVID-19 can do to a person hit home.

The Florida State offensive lineman and Episcopal product publicly revealed his battle with the illness on Friday, saying that COVID-19 hit him like a “bus.” But it wasn’t his battle that was the most frightening.

Andrew, who’s father, Tony, a Jaguars icon and Pro Football Hall of Fame finalist, went public with his COVID-19 battle and recovery on April 2, said the most difficult part of battling the illness was seeing the toll that it took on his dad.

“But the main reason why I personally wanted to release my story for my family and me personally was what my dad went through,” Andrew said. “… I don’t even think my dad was in the risk group, kind of what they were telling originally, like at all. And the fact that he got put in the hospital, I would not want anyone my age, really anyone, having someone they love put at serious, serious risk because of them just being careless.”

Andrew wrote a first-person account of his battle with COVID-19 in a story published on the Seminoles athletics website. He spoke with the media on Friday afternoon and detailed this family’s battle with the virus.

Andrew said that he and three family members tested positive for COVID-19; his father, Tony, his brother, Adam, and his mother, Angie. Two of his three younger sisters tested negative for COVID-19, and his 10-year-old sister showed no signs and was not tested.

Tony’s battle with COVID-19 was significant. He initially started feeling bad early during the week of March 16. By Wednesday of that week, Tony was feeling miserable. He called his doctor that day, the same day that he found out that he’d been around someone who had tested positive for COVID-19. On March 20, Boselli found out that he had tested positive for the illness.

“The thought of losing my father who’s 47 obviously never entered my mind until this happened,” he said. “And it was definitely very sombering and there’s certain times when I was very frightened.”

Andrew was tested after his father’s diagnosis and said that two days after Tony tested positive, he began to feel as bad as he’d ever felt. Andrew said that by the evening of March 22, his fever had jumped to 103 degrees and he felt like he’d been hit by a “bus.”

The following week was the most challenging for the family. Tony wound up admitted to the Mayo Clinic and spent five days there, the bulk in the ICU. Tony first spoke about his battle and recovery on April 2 and Andrew said that his father remains working on getting his strength back.

“Definitely the biggest mental and emotional toll is just kind of the way it affected my dad, put my dad out of commission,” Andrew said.

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