Ex-NHL star describes battle with coronavirus: ‘It’s the worst thing ever’

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Former NHL tough guy, Georges Laraque, is at a Canadian hospital recovering from the coronavirus and can hardly get up without losing his breath — just weeks after training for a marathon.

Laraque, 43, who participated in 131 fights throughout his hockey career that spanned more than a decade, is now fighting an even greater battle due to complications from the virus.

“After the COVID attacked my lungs, I can’t even get up to go brush my teeth without struggling,” he said in a series of Facebook videos over the weekend, according to Reuters. “It’s the worst thing ever. It takes all my energy just to get up.”

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Laraque — who is asthmatic — said he started feeling symptoms on April 26 while delivering groceries to vulnerable people in his community. He said his condition got severely worse over the next few days.

“I have pneumonia in both my lungs, they’re affected by the COVID because I have asthma, I have to have oxygen blowing through my nose,” added Laraque, who was captured on video wearing a hospital gown and coughing at times.

Laraque described his diagnosis as “crazy’ because for months he had been running over six miles per day, six days a week — in preparation for a marathon. After testing positive, Laraque said he experienced fevers a couple of times each night, the news organization reported.

“The nights are the worst,” he said. “I have to get up and take pills.”

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Georges Laraque #17 of the Montreal Canadiens laughs with former teammates before a game against the Edmonton Oilers on October 10, 2009, at Rexall Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. The Oilers beat the Canadiens 3-2. (Photo by Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images)

Georges Laraque #17 of the Montreal Canadiens laughs with former teammates before a game against the Edmonton Oilers on October 10, 2009, at Rexall Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. The Oilers beat the Canadiens 3-2. (Photo by Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images)

On Sunday, Laraque released another video, where the ex-hockey player announced he didn’t have a fever the previous night for the first time.

Laraque also praised the healthcare workers at Charles-LeMoyne hospital — near Montreal — who played a big part in his recovery from the virus.

He added that people shouldn’t feel sorry for him because, “I’m not the only one fighting this.”

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Laraque played parts of 12 seasons in the NHL from 1997 to 2010, including eight with the Edmonton Oilers. He finished his career playing two seasons for the Montreal Canadiens.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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