‘This is crazy’: Red Sox legend David Ortiz speaks out about battle with COVID-19

NEWTON, MASS. (WHDH) - While stepping up to the plate once again for children suffering from heart conditions, former Red Sox slugger David Ortiz spoke about his battle with COVID-19.

“I didn’t have any fever, any cough, any other symptoms. I felt like I was about to get a cold – that’s how I felt every day while I had it,” he said.

Ortiz said he believes he contracted the virus from his brother who was so sick that he had to be hospitalized.

“I saw it. That’s when I was like, ‘OK hold on this is crazy,” he said.

The seriousness of the virus canceled Big Papi’s annual golf tournament in Florida but did not stop his commitment to funding heart surgery for uninsured and low-income children through the Children’s Fund.

“When you see the happiness and the bright future and all the good things we accomplish – its a motivation, a motivation to help all of us to make this happen,” Ortiz said.

The Negrellis of Weston have two daughters who were both born with holes in their hearts and so, they said Ortiz’s foundation is dear to them.

To keep the fundraising going, they hosted a smaller golf tournament at the Brae Burn Country Club in Newton complete with staggard start times and appropriate PPE.

Ortiz said he is glad he is not on the ballfield in the midst of this pandemic.

“I’ll tell you what … me personally I’d struggle because my motivation was the screaming, the yelling, the booing,” he explained.

Now, the three-time World Series champ said he is just praying for good health for everyone from Patriots Quarterback Cam Newton to President Donald Trump.

“To Cam, man, I’m a big fan. You’re a great athlete so I know you’ll bounce back and be out there fast,” he said. “Hopefully Mr. Trump gets better soon and people understand what we’re dealing with.”

The goal of the event was to raise $250,000 which would pay for 50 surgeries.

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