TriVent Healthcare News

Former Alabama football player nearly killed by COVID relearns to walk, urges people to get vaccine

By William Thornton |

A former University of Alabama football player is currently relearning how to walk, stand up and use his right arm again after experiencing nerve damage from the effects of COVID-19.

At the same time, Justin Moon, 36, and his wife Mel, have used their story to encourage friends to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

They estimate about 250 have so far have heeded the message.

Moon, 36, of Guntersville, played at the Capstone from 2003 through 2006.

He was admitted to the hospital on July 21 and was placed on a ventilator days later, transferring to UAB Hospital. Moon spent 79 days in the hospital, 39 of them on a ventilator.

When he woke up, according to UAB, Moon had a hole in his throat and was unable to talk, walk or move. All he could do was blink.

“During those six weeks on the ventilator, I had no idea that I was fighting for my life,” Moon told UAB News.

“There’s only one other step beyond where I was at, and that’s cremation or going in your box. I actually died for four minutes, and they shocked me and brought me back. It’s a complete miracle that God saved me. Not too many people get a second chance at life.”

Moon said he hesitated in getting the COVID-19 vaccine even though his employer encouraged workers to get it. But he had thus far managed to avoid the virus.

Then when the number of infections rose around Alabama and a colleague tested positive, he and his wife decided they would get the shot. But he tested positive only days before he had planned to get inoculated.

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