Former Titans DB Myron Rolle Documents His Battle With Coronavirus As A Neurosurgery Assistant
College football fans may remember Myron Rolle from his time with Florida State as a third-team All-American defensive back in 2008 who eventually skipped his senior season to study medical anthropology at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar. Although scouts said he possessed first-round talent, Rolle fell to the sixth round of the 2010 NFL Draft because his commitment to football seemed uncertain. He was eventually drafted by the Titans.
Rolle spent three years in the NFL never but never made a regular season appearance and returned to Florida State in 2013 to attend medical school. His next stop was Harvard University where he studied neurosurgery which lead him to his current occupation as a third-year neurosurgery resident at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.
As a medical worker dealing with patients that have been infected with coronavirus (COVID-19)
, Rolle collaborated with ESPN to document the challenges hospital workers face as they attempt to combat the disease.
Former Titans DB Myron Rolle left the NFL to attend medical school back in 2013.
Now, Rolle is a neurosurgery resident who is seeing the impact COVID-19 is having on the healthcare industry. pic.twitter.com/hGj9B8mJva
— ESPN (@espn) March 28, 2020
“Football has never left me,” Rolle said in the video. “I still wake up in the morning and think of the operating room like a game. Like it’s showtime, let’s perform. I gotta do what I go to do, because people are counting on us right now. This is our time to help very sick people. So that motivation continues to drive me every single day.”
Rolle says his passion to help others initially became clear several years ago when he cried about a waitress he didn’t know who seemed be “full of suffering and sadness.”
“Why am I feeling this way? I’ve never felt this way about a stranger,” Rolle pondered. “Why am I hurting? Why is my soul hurting?”
Rolle sought help from Florida State defensive coordinator Micky Andrews who was able to offer some guidance.
“Andrews talked about the Bible,” wrote ESPN’s Wright Thompson, “and he told Rolle that he had an uncontrollable love, and that God wanted him to see this woman and feel her pain and be inspired to do something. God, his coach told him, wants you to help her. … [Rolle] didn’t need to know someone to love them, to want to serve them. Feeling the link between two souls who walked different lives, and had different backgrounds, changed him.”
Rolle has since become very religious and frequently mentions biblical phrases on his Instagram posts.
View this post on Instagram
Now that football’s done, the call is to be a great pediatric neurosurgeon one day, God spare life. But an equally important call is to stand as a representation for young black boys and black girls to see themselves in this journey – achieving more, dreaming bigger and reaching higher. Sometimes it just takes a little push to get the next generation going. And if we’re able to provide that, then that makes life worth the living! They’re up next!! #2% #BlackHistoryMonth ✊🏿✊🏿 #Harvard #TheMGHNeurosurgery
The 33-year-old later noted that it was challenging to choose one path over the other, a football player or a doctor. Rolle recounted a story that involved him assisting in a surgery to remove a brain tumor from a child in 2017.
“I obviously felt adrenaline rushes playing football, and I felt big when I made a big play and the crowd is going wild,” he said. “But there was never anything like that, where the feeling just completely took over my whole body. It was like, this is it. This is the calling.
He later added, “Maybe football happened because I’m big, fast, tall, whatever. Maybe God put that in me because these are my physical attributes, and I had a mind for the game. But I don’t know if everyone finds that thing where just their whole body becomes so charged up.”