JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jaguars aren’t in the Super Bowl, but they’re sending four health care workers to the big game in Tampa next month.
As part of the NFL’s tribute to health care workers, the league is giving 7,500 frontline medical personnel a seat in the stands. All of those workers in attendance will have received their COVID-19 vaccinations.
Former Jaguars star Tony Boselli informed them this week of the surprise.
The Jaguars invited registered nurses Jodie Bisogno and Kelly Guion, epidemiologist, Dr. Vincy Samuel, and hematologist oncologist Edward Gorak, to attend Super Bowl 55 between Tampa Bay and Kansas City on Feb. 7. All four work with Baptist Health.
In one of the most anticipated Super Bowls ever, that’s a significant perk.
“I want to go and honor every single person that has fought during this pandemic and that has worked in healthcare during the pandemic,” said Guion.
Guion oversees a 48-bed COVID unit. She told News4Jax she will never forget when the first COVID-19 positive patient was admitted.
“That was March 14 at 10 PM,” said Guion. “I’ll never forget that moment and since then, it’s definitely been a roller coaster. We’ve had a lot of ups and patients recover and get better. There have been some downs where patients haven’t been doing well. That’s been very emotional and difficult for my team being there at the bedside, holding the hands of these patients that we knew were not doing as well as others that we’ve seen.”
Joining Guion is Dr. Samuel who plays a critical role in overseeing employee and patient vaccination rollout.
“We get to share this bond together as well as other healthcare workers across the nation have been fighting the same fight and fighting through the unknown and still making it through to give the best care to our patients and two employees that were taking care of those patients and it really is an honor to be selected,” said Dr. Samuel.
Both are rooting for the Buccaneers.
With the Tom Brady-led Buccaneers playing Super Bowl 55 in their hometown, ticket prices have soared this week. The least single expensive ticket on StubHub on Tuesday afternoon was $13,359. Fans looking to purchase a block of four tickets could land those at $6,512 apiece.
“It’s a small token, but it’s what the NFL and the Jaguars felt like we could do to honor you all,” Boselli during the surprise. “You’ve been vaccinated. You are amazing health care workers. You’ve served our community. As a big thank you, it’s a full trip for each one of you down to watch the Super Bowl.”
In addition to the healthcare workers, 14,500 tickets will also be sold.
“As the NFL season culminates in Tampa Bay, we are thanking our health care heroes who have been on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Peter O’Reilly, NFL executive vice president of club business and league events. “We are honored to salute those who have demonstrated dedication, commitment and courage and deserve our deepest gratitude and admiration.”
All 32 NFL teams received four tickets to give to local health care workers.