Tamarick Vanover is counting his blessings.
Vanover – the former Leon High and Florida State soccer star who competed in the first Seminole National Championship in 1993 – is continuing his recovery from COVID-19.
Vanover, 47, was discharged from Capital Regional Medical Center Friday after receiving two weeks of treatment for the fatal illness.
In the hospital, he was given medication and extra oxygen. Most of the days were flushing and repeating – resting, watching TV, and replying to text messages.
Even on his 47th birthday on February 25th – five days after his treatment.
“I know there were people who came through those doors and didn’t make it through the other side,” Vanover said in a thoughtful and grateful tone.
“The staff here did a wonderful job letting me know what was going on. I was just trying to be confident in a situation that could be difficult. “
MORE SEMINOLS COVERAGE
Vanover wasn’t sure where or how he got infected with the virus and felt bad for the first time a few weeks ago. He relented and went to a satellite doctor’s office to get checked for COVID-19.
After two tests – the first negative and the second positive – Vanover assumed he would be given medication and return home.
However, he had an abnormal chest x-ray and the decision was made to transport him to Capital Regional by ambulance.
It was by no means an easy ordeal.
Vanover has also been diagnosed with strep throat and double pneumonia. He will continue to take medication and supplemental oxygen therapy at home to aid his recovery.
“When I look at my x-rays, I know exactly what COVID looks like,” said Vanover, who cited the underlying conditions that increased his risk of developing serious illness from COVID.
Even so, the cautious Vanover believed he had protected himself from the disease.
He wore a mask, washed his hands, and was aware of his surroundings. Vanover had read the stories about the disease and how it affected people in different ways. And as coronavirus cases and deaths decline across the country, health officials say this is not the time to relax.
“As for me, you can do anything you can to prevent this from happening – and you can still catch it,” Vanover said.
Over the years, Vanover remains a household name in Tallahassee and The Seminole Nation.
In the Sporting News, Vanover was listed in the nation’s top 10 in Leon. He stayed in his hometown and signed with coach Bobby Bowden’s Seminoles.
The receiver return specialist was an All-American freshman in 1992 and an All-American runner-up team during the Seminoles national title run in his sophomore year. During his two years at FSU, he had 87 career receptions for 1,123 yards and seven touchdowns, averaging 13.2 yards with 13 kickoff returns.
One of Vanover’s best performances during his six-year NFL career came on Monday night, 1995, when he returned an 86-yard punt for a touchdown to lift the Kansas City Chiefs in overtime between 29 and 23 against San Diego. It was the first time in NFL history that a game in overtime had been won for touchdown on a punt return.
Vanover is now making a name for itself in Gainesville.
That is, Dedrick Vanover.
Vanover’s son Dedrick is on the Florida Gators’ route team. The talented Redshirt junior made his season opener debut in Florida at the Carolina Challenge in South Carolina, where he competed in the 60 meters and contributed to UF’s 4X400 meter relay team. Vanover also finished fourth in the 60 meters at the SEC Indoors last week. his personal best in the 60s is 6.71.
Vanover is also keeping up with the Seminoles. He believes FSU soccer coach Mike Norvell can bring the program back to winning ways in year two.
“I’ll always be a Florida state guy. This is where I grew up,” Vanover said. “I think they do better to lead the team in the right direction.”
Vanover, of course, is grateful to be home and walking in the right direction in his recovery from COVID-19.
Contact Jim Henry at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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