NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) – Myron Rolle is right in the middle of the action once again. The soccer player who became a resident of neurosurgery was at the forefront of the battle against COVID-19, hoping to play a role in the most important victory in his life.
Rolle, a former All-American safety at Florida State and draft pick by the Tennessee Titans, traded in face masks with surgical masks at the end of his career in hopes of realizing his life-long dream of becoming a neurosurgeon.
“Football is great, but I always knew medicine would be the next chapter, the second chapter,” Rolle said recently in an interview via Zoom.
Chapter two is no surprise to anyone who follows Rolle’s story. Despite his success at college on the gridiron, Rolle postponed entry to the NFL for a full year, becoming a Rhodes Scholar and studying at Oxford instead of entering the NFL Draft in 2009.
Rolle’s stock fell and he fell to the sixth round of the 2010 Draft before he was chosen by the Titans. He spent two years with the team before being released, and after failing to make an active NFL list in 2012, he chose to hang his pads forever and head for medical school.
“I just continued to maintain the parallel path of football and academics when I competed,” Rolle said. “I just want football to take me as far as possible. And once that happens – as soon as I get everything out of my body – I say let’s move on to treatment, so that we can still contribute to society, and I can still live this life-long dream of improving people and helping people. “
Rolle’s pursuit of his dream of practicing medicine has taken him to the Massachusetts General Hospital, where he is now a third-year neurosurgery resident at one of the places to see the largest influx of patients suffering from COVID-19.
“It’s very worrying when you enter a patient’s room that takes precautionary drops, contact precautions, contact-plus precautions, airborne precautions,” Rolle said. “You have to wear all the masks and dresses, put it on properly, and then take it off properly.”
While the hospital receives 100 patients every day who contract the virus, Rolle and the neurosurgery team continue to carry out their own life-saving operations while trying to help the hospital prepare for a wave of outbreaks.
Rolle said that while no procedure can be done in a hurry, the length of time a patient spends in the hospital after the procedure is reduced.
“We entered and we operated, and our operations lasted a long time,” Rolle said. “They are anesthetized, they need post-operative scans. We are trying our best to track these patients to get them discharged from the hospital. One, we don’t want them to get sick, and two, we don’t want them to get sick.”
Every day is another challenge, and other potential life and death situations. Rolle said he often utilizes the skills he got playing soccer when he was in the operating room.
“Football has helped me in many ways,” Role said. “First, team sports to become residents of neurosurgery. You must be a team player and learn to work in a team environment with other residents, who are present and others in the operating room. Communication is clearly very important. Everyone must be on the same page, just like when I am a safety person, I stand guard in defense, call down and distance myself and try to be proactive in the field, you have to be proactive as a leader in the operating room. And then I think the biggest crossover trait that helped me the most is reducing the pressure. When the pressure increases, you have to go back to your basics, your fundamentals. I have used it from football (and) now for treatment. “
Rolle has seen enough of this virus and for years in the medical world to know that he is not as invincible as he once thought on the soccer field, but he takes an optimistic approach to his work. And he remains convinced that with a little help from the community in stopping the spread, brighter days are ahead.
Medical professionals and doctors from all over the world work around the clock to find solutions to treat or even get rid of Coronavirus. Rolle believes that he and his new teammate in the medical field will eventually win this battle.
“My advice will only be to pay attention, be careful, protect yourself, protect your family, and then we can get through it,” Rolle said. “I think we have some brilliant women and men who study this and work very hard in the laboratory, finding new ways to fix new problems. It will happen.”
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