NFL legend and Super Bowl winner Bernie Kosar reveals he’s battling Parkinson’s and liver failure

Former NFL quarterback Bernie Kosar has revealed that he is battling multiple medical issues, including liver failure and Parkinson’s disease.

The 60-year-old, who played for the Cleveland Browns, opened up on his health battles, saying an ‘independent NFL doctor’ diagnosed him with Parkinson’s disease in February before he was placed on a liver transplant list in late spring. 

He told Cleveland Magazine that his body ‘gave out’ during an appearance for the Browns at their December 28th matchup against the New York Jets

I really felt like I wasn’t going to make it home from the Jets game,’ Kosar said. ‘I sucked it up, though, and continued to avoid the doctors until the new year. Then I went into the hospital and got a massive blood transfusion.

‘It was like: ‘How are you alive? How are you moving? Because your hemoglobin levels are so low.’

Kosar was informed by doctors in January that he likely needed a new liver before he fell ill again in February. One of his medics, Dr. Michael Roizen, chief wellness officer of Cleveland Clinic, said there is a 90 percent chance Kosar will need a transplant. 

While attending the Super Bowl festivities in Las Vegas, the former signal caller’s condition worsened and he had to spend several days in hospital. 

His health continued to deteriorate through March, with Kosar saying he ‘looked like death.

‘I wish you could have seen me three months ago,’ Kosar says. ‘Actually, maybe not, because I looked like death. I felt like death. E. Coli blood poisoning. Heart trouble. And I really thought I needed the liver transplant ASAP. I was in bad shape.’ 

But his doctor, Anthony Post, offered fans optimistic news as they said that the former Super Bowl winner has improved. 

‘Liver disease does tend to fluctuate,’ says Post. ‘So he’s on that wave thing where it goes up and down. He’s in a good phase right now, but anything bad could happen.’ 

Kosar admitted that he had suffered with liver-related illnesses for years but with no clear source of the problems, he brushed them off. 

His doctors said the cause of Kosar’s liver failure has not been determined, but that the liver contains ‘an incredibly high level of an organic solvent, higher than we’ve seen literally in anyone.’ 

Despite being long retired, Kosar makes regular appearances around the NFL at games and Super Bowl festivities. 

Last October, Kosar added to the NFL-pop culture crossover when he was pictured with Taylor Swift ahead of the Kansas City Chiefs’ game against the Las Vegas Chargers at Arrowhead. 

Swift, the girlfriend of Chiefs star Travis Kelce, and Kosar both attended a pre-game gathering at the tight end’s house before heading to the stadium to watch Kansas City’s victory. 

Swift posed for a snap alongside Kosar just hours before the game, which marked her third appearance at Arrowhead to watch Kelce in action for Kansas City. She was then seeing rocking up at Arrowhead shortly before kickoff on Sunday afternoon.

Kosar, best known for his eight-year spell with the Cleveland Browns, wrote on X along with the photo: ‘Watching the Browns game with @taylorswift13 pre KC game. Tough to see Deshaun Hurt!!!’

Kosar retired from the NFL in 1996 and has long struggled with injuries stemming from his playing days, particularly head and brain issues. 

Throughout his NFL career, Kosar says he suffered 80, broken bones, 40 surgeries, numerous seizures and countless concussions.

Kosar was drafted by the Browns with the first overall pick in the 1985 supplemental draft after he starred for the University of Miami. 

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He went on to lead Cleveland to three AFC championship game appearances before he was cut by then-Browns coach Bill Belichick. 

Kosar moved to Dallas where he won a Super Bowl title as the backup quarterback on the 1993 Cowboys team. 

He rounded off his career with a stint back in Miami with the Dolphins from 1994 to 1996 before finally hanging up his cleats. He passed for 23,301 yards and threw 124 touchdown passes throughout his career. 

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