Tom Brady Sr., in an interview Monday with ESPN Radio's #Greeny, said he was hospitalized for three weeks at one point last year and that both he and his wife, Galynn, were "sick as a dog."
Brady Sr. noted that the couple, both 76 years old, did not watch the Bucs' first two games this season because of his hospitalization, saying it was the first time in their son's football career that they missed any games.
"We've never missed a game at Michigan or New England or wherever," he told ESPN. "For the first two games when I was in the hospital, I didn't even care if they were playing -- much less missing the game. It was a matter of life and death, just like anybody who goes to the hospital. That's serious stuff."
Tom Sr. said Galynn, who is a breast cancer survivor, did not require hospitalization because of the virus. Their daughter, who is a nurse, cared for Galynn while Tom Sr. was in the hospital.
"We're just representative of 25 million Americans who've had this stuff so far, so it's nothing to shake a stick at," he said.
The elder Brady also described how difficult it was for his son to balance football with his concern for his parents, saying the six-time Super Bowl champion would "FaceTime me every day on his way to and from practice" and was "stressed out" worrying about them.
"Tommy fought through it, and so now it's in the rearview mirror," he said. "We're healthy, we're happy and everything is good."
Brady Sr. made the comments one day after his son led the Buccaneers to an upset of the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship Game and the team's first Super Bowl appearance since the 2002 season.
Brady, 43, will play in a Super Bowl for the 10th time in his storied career on Feb. 7 when the Bucs face the Kansas City Chiefs in Tampa.
"This year has been unbelievable," Brady Sr. said. "Not knowing where we're going to start the season out, and being where we are to end the season is just a stunning development as far as I'm concerned. ... Getting to the 10th Super Bowl in 19 years of playing is pretty -- it's incomprehensible, actually. It's beyond anything we could ever imagine."