Broncos’ John Fox Gives First Post Surgical Update


A Broncos fan holds up a sign for head coach John Fox (not pictured) during the second half against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium. The Broncos won 28-20. (Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports)

Broncos head coach John Fox got on the coconut wires with the Denver media Tuesday, eight days after having open heart surgery.

Fox is out of the Charlotte area hospital and rehabbing at home. He expects to be back on the sideline before the conclusion of the season. The first step, however, is to make it back to Denver.

“I think number one right now they’re just trying to make sure that I’m OK to fly,” Fox said. “There are some certain things they’ve got to be concerned with, with altitude, those types of things. As soon as I’m able to fly and they feel good about me going through the rigors of flying, then I’ll be heading back to Denver.”

Fox was out on the golf course November 2 when he suddenly felt light-headed, and had to be taken to the hospital.

“You’re getting ready to go down,” Fox said. “I don’t know if you’ve ever passed out before but you feel it overcoming you and basically you get tunnel vision and are just trying to fight it off. I hit two shots—a chip shot and a putt that I can truly tell you I don’t remember every little part of it. And then really just had to sit on the ground and actually lay on the ground. I never really passed out, but just fighting that feeling of passing out. I just hit two golf shots in the middle of it.”

Fox was quick to point out that the health scare didn’t have anything to do with his lifestyle. He was born with a bicuspid aortic valve, where he has two flaps inside the valve rather than three. Although his genetic condition became more relevant in the last year, his doctors believed that he could make it through this season without having the operation.

“When they brought me to the hospital, the first thing they did was a CT scan and my valve was almost completely closed,” Fox said. I was receiving very little blood to my body. It’s one of those things that it could just happen quickly.”

Fox said the scariest part of the ordeal was being in the ICU.

“I have to be honest with you, for at least that first 36 hours, I had more tubes coming in and out of me than you can even imagine,” Fox said.

At that point, checking in on his team was the furthest thing from his mind. Fox was released from the hospital on Friday, and since then he’s been in contact with Jack Del Rio daily, and he also watched Sunday’s win against the Chargers.

“I’ve got to admit there were parts of it I had to quit watching, but all in all, much like a bye week, the unusual part obviously was that it was actually our team playing.”

“It got probably a little bit tense. I knew that wasn’t the best thing for me at that moment,” Fox said of watching his team on national television.

This is another reason for the Broncos to want to win comfortably. In the meantime, we continue to wish John Fox a speedy recovery.