Former Vol reveals battle with COVID-19

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KNOXVILLE (WATE) – A former University of Tennessee football player was recently diagnosed with COVID-19.

VFL Chavis Smith is back home following a stay in the hospital, and he’s opening up about the diagnosis.

“The chills, the shakes, the body aches. My temperature flew up to like almost 104, something like that. So, it was rough,” said Smith.

Smith says he’s feeling much better. He’s back home and in quarantine after spending a few days in the hospital.

It was there, he says, that he got his positive test.

“I literally thought I was dying. I was like oh my God, I cannot breathe, I felt like someone was suffocating me, it was so bad. My wife was like ‘Hey you know what, let’s go to the emergency room.'” Smith said. “They put me on some IV, started giving me steroid shots put me on oxygen. I started feeling better, moving around a lot better.”

Smith says the experience taught him a valuble lesson.

“It made me realize life is way too important to not wear a mask or do the simple things to try to prevent others from getting sick,” said Smith.

He now has a message to pass along.

“Do whatever you can to keep people safe. I look at my situation, and I’m like, I have a family and kids, I want to live a long life with them. I want them to live a long life. If I can do that to help that happen, or better their chances, by all means, I’ll do it. If wearing a mask can prevent someone from being sick, then yes, do that. Take it serious,” he said.

Smith says he still has about 10 days of quarantine left.

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