Former professional football player and current head coach for the Jackson State University football team, Deion Sanders recently shared that he had to have two of his toes amputated.
The 54-year-old NFL Hall of Famer revealed during an episode of his documentary series “Coach Prime” that two of the toes on his left foot had to be removed due to life-threatening blood clots.
Sanders was hospitalized in the midst of last season to take care of the medical issue. The blood clots stemmed from an unresolved issue during a previous surgery. Initially, he had dislocated his toe alongside an inflamed nerve. When the first surgery was completed to address the problems in his foot, instead of healing, his toes began darkening under the bandages.
When Sanders went back to the doctor, he found out he had developed a femoral arterial blood clot and compartment syndrome, which made his legs prone to swelling.
“They were talking about the amputation of toes,” he shared. “Then they were talking about the amputation of my leg from the knee down. Then, they were trying to ensure I had life.”
Doctors decided the best course of action would be to amputate his toes, so his big toe and second toe were removed. This resulted in a three-week stay at a Mississippi hospital and going through the latter half of the 2021 season in a wheelchair.
Deion Sanders details his process of recovery
Within the contents of this discussion, Sanders opened up about the struggles that losing two toes caused; he faced many self-esteem problems and found it difficult to stay in the hospital for a long period of time.
“The hardest thing of it all was to look down there and see that, and understand that once upon a time, you were this type of athlete,” he relayed. Continuing, Sanders stated, “and you don’t even know if you’re gonna walk because all you feel is pain, and you just want to get out of this hospital. You just want to get out.”
Despite the ongoing medical issue, Sanders still proved himself as a force to be reckoned with in the world of college football. In his second season with the Tigers, he led his team to an 11–2 record and SWAC championship.
When he spoke with USA Today, he also expressed that his road to recovery was looking very positive. “It’s been a long journey. I am on the road back,” he said. “But I am here and I am thankful.”
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