Hall of Famer Borje Salming on virus: ‘You have to be careful’

Toronto Maple Leafs great Borje Salming. (Frank Gunn/CP)

Hockey Hall of Famer Borje Salming says he’s feeling better after he was hospitalized with a suspected case of COVID-19 in March.

“I’m feeling good now. This virus is really crazy and so what I wanted to say is you have to stay home and be safe. This is not a fun thing to have,” Salming said in a video from his home in Stockholm shared by the Hall of Fame. “When I was in the hospital almost six weeks ago, that was no fun. When you get this you can’t breathe and when you can’t breathe, you die.

“I’m lucky I’m home, but you have to be careful.”

The 69-year-old was rushed to hospital in an ambulance and spent the night there after experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. In a mid-April interview with NHL.com., he said he was never tested for COVID-19 but that “I felt like I was dying.”

“It was scary,” Salming told NHL.com. “I was having problems breathing. At times I couldn’t even breathe. I was shivering and shivering. It was awful.”

According to the World Health Organization, Sweden has had 20,302 positive cases of the new coronavirus and 2,462 deaths. Salming has been using his role as a hockey hero in the country to urge people to stay home and stay safe, including making regular radio appearances to share his experience.

“Once I felt strong enough again, it’s something I wanted to do,” he told NHL.com. “People are scared. I know the feeling. And if my notoriety means I have a voice people feel they can listen to and feel better about what’s going on around them, that’s a real positive.”


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