Minnesota Vikings linebacker Cameron Smith announced on Saturday that he needs to have open heart surgery that will end his 2020 season. The surgery will fix an aortic valve Smith was born with that led to what he described as a “severely enlarged” heart. Smith only found out he needed surgery after testing positive for COVID-19 and undergoing further testing as a result.
In his Instagram post, Smith said the positive COVID test was a blessing because his heart would not have lasted much longer.
“The Lord works in mysterious ways, but I could really feel him on this one!” he wrote.
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Earlier this week I found out I need open heart surgery to fix a bicuspid aortic valve that I was born with. 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. I found this out after I tested positive for COVID and had to have further testing done as protocol. The Lord works in mysterious ways, but I could really feel him on this one!🙏🏻 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. Im going to attack this like everything else I have in life. Already looking forward to the comeback! #SKOL
Numerous teammates and fellow NFL players responded to Smith’s post with messages of support.
“Praying for you brotha!” Vikings receiver Adam Thielen wrote.
“Man this is hard to read. Prayers up for you brotha,” said Vikings running back Alexander Mattison.
“Thank god they found out. Blessed to to have you on this team and in our group,” wrote Vikings co-defensive coordinator and linebackers coach Adam Zimmer.
Tennessee Titans cornerback Adoree’ Jackson, Dallas Cowboys linebacker Leighton Vander Esch and Notre Dame quarterback Ian Book were also among those who responded to Smith’s post.
All the messages have “given me strength beyond belief,” Smith wrote on Sunday. He continued to say, ”I’m all smiles over here and I wouldn’t be this way with out the lord and my support system! I’ll keep everyone as updated as possible. I’m coming out on the other side stronger than ever.”
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I just want to say thank you to everyone for all of the support I have received over the last 24 hours, it means more to me than most of you may know! I also have realized how many people have been affected in some way by BAV and all of you that reached out to share your stories has given me strength beyond belief! Bumps in the road are apart of life, but how you attack them is all that really matters. You can coast through and land safely or pin that son of a gun and launch off that bump as if it was only there to put you further ahead. I’m all smiles over here and I wouldn’t be this way with out the lord and my support system! I’ll keep everyone as updated as possible. I’m coming out on the other side stronger than ever🤟🏻
A four-year starter at USC, Smith was selected by the Vikings in the fifth round of the 2019 NFL Draft. He appeared in five games for Minnesota as a rookie last season, recording eight tackles. And he has every intention of continuing his football career once he has recovered from the surgery.
“There is a surgery that will allow me to continue to play as soon as I am healed and cleared and I didn’t think twice about going with that one,” he said Saturday. “By no means am I ready to be done playing football, there is still so much more I want to accomplish on the field.”
Please join us in praying for Smith.
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