Bahamian on the frontline fighting COVID-19

Former NFL defensive back Myron Rolle, who has strong Bahamian ties to Exuma, is one of the brave healthcare workers on the frontline in the fight against COVID-19 – the infectious new coronavirus pandemic that is all over the globe and has paralyzed economies.

Dr. Myron Rolle is a third-year neurosurgery resident at Massachusetts General Hospital in the West End neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts. He left the football field seven years ago to pursue his other passion – that of being a neurosurgeon and saving lives.

Now, given the abundance of COVID-19 cases in the United States, particularly in the area he now calls home, Rolle is stepping up to the plate and doing whatever he could to help control the rapid spread of the disease.

“I was seeing so many individuals with respiratory distress, and the numbers are staggering. Our neurological surgical floor has been transformed into a floor full of COVID-19 patients. It’s hectic, that’s for sure,” said Rolle in an Instagram video clip. “Our bed space and operating rooms have been turned into ICUs (intensive care units), [there are] so many people positive with COVID-19 or suspected of having it. Our supplies are limited right now and dwindling.”

As a neurosurgeon, Rolle specializes in the diagnosis and surgical treatment of disorders of the central and peripheral nervous system. He was a Rhodes Scholar, leaving Florida State University (FSU) prior to his senior season to pursue a master’s degree in medical anthropology at the University of Oxford in England.

Rolle was studying to be a brain surgeon while also training and preparing for the 2010 National Football League (NFL) Draft. He was taken in the sixth round by the Tennessee Titans and stayed in the NFL for three years. Following football, he went right into neurosurgery.

Rolle, who has made quite a few public appearances around the U.S., including being featured on the Steve Harvey Show a few years ago, said if he had to do it all over again, he would take the same route. He has embraced the operating room and made it his domain.

“Football has never left me. I still wake up in the morning and think of the operating room like a game. It’s showtime – let’s perform,” he said on Instagram. “I have to do what I have to do because people are counting on us right now. This is our time to help very sick people. That motivation continues to drive me every single day.”

Rolle shone both in the classroom and on the football field in college. In 2008, he earned Associated Press Third Team All-American honors as well as Football Writers Association of America Second Team All-ACC (Atlantic Coast Conference) and CoSIDA (College Sports Information Directors of America) Academic All-America.

Despite missing out on his senior year of college football, Rolle still found his way to the league, becoming a professional athlete, and then successfully maneuvered into a career in neurosurgery. Many people dream of having at least one of those careers. Rolle experienced both and it’s in the latter right now where he is making the most impact. Up to press time, there were over 800,000 cases worldwide and over 40,000 deaths. The United States is the most impacted nation, with over 175,000 cases.

As for Rolle, the former NFL defensive back still comes home to The Bahamas frequently. He has established the Myron L. Rolle Foundation which caters primarily to the youth, particularly in the staging of an annual wellness and leadership academy in hopes of creating initiatives that support health and wellness, education and other charitable initiatives for children and families.

Dr. Myron Rolle is the son of Whitney and Beverley Rolle of Exuma, and the cousin of former NLF players Antrel Rolle, Brian Rolle and Samari Rolle. He is very proud of his Bahamian heritage and plans to open a free health services clinic and sports complex in Steventon, Exuma, in The Bahamas.

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