A couple of weeks ago, former Montreal Canadiens tough guy Georges Laraque was running five or six days a week as he trained for a marathon. Now, the former NHL enforcer's biggest challenge is trying to breathe clearly as he fights the coronavirus from a hospital in Montreal.
"Now I can't even get up without losing my breath. It's insane," he said.
In a series of videos from his hospital bed, the 43-year-old said he began feeling symptoms a week ago Sunday when he was helping to deliver groceries to vulnerable people in his community.
Thanks everyone for your prayers and wishes, this is where I'm gonna live for awhile until my lungs clears! Merci à vous tous pour vos prières et vos souhaits, c'est ici que je vais vivre un bon de temps jusqu'à ce que mes poumons se rétablissent! pic.twitter.com/BnpMS1G6JK— Georges Laraque (@GeorgesLaraque) May 1, 2020
Over the next days, his condition deteriorated.
"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," said Laraque, who wore a hospital gown and could be seen coughing at times during the videos.
"The nights are the worst," he said. "At night, I have fevers a couple times a night. I have to get up and take pills."
Laraque thanked the staff at Charles-Le Moyne Hospital who have been taking care of him, and told people not to feel sorry for him because, "I'm not the only one fighting this."
Laraque played parts of 12 seasons in the NHL from 1997 to 2010, including eight with Edmonton. He capped his career with two seasons in Montreal.