DENVER (CBS4) – It’s been a mystery for months — the seizure that felled Denver Broncos defensive end Derek Wolfe. It ended his season and could have ended his career.
Wolfe is finally healthy again and spoke to CBS4’s Tom Helmer — his first public comments since that scary day in November.
Wolfe’s football season came to an abrupt end on Nov. 29. As the team was bussing out to Denver International Airport for a flight to Kansas City he suffered a seizure.
“There are 42 different kinds of seizures, it’s not like I was foaming at the mouth or swallowing my tongue or anything,” Wolfe said. “It was my nervous system kind of shut down, my body just kind of stopped. I didn’t feel like I passed out, it just felt like I needed to fall asleep.”
Teammate Von Miller knew immediately something was wrong.
“On that bus I sit right in front of Von. Von grabbed me and said, ‘Are you all right?” And I said, ‘Yeah, I’m fine.’ And he was like, ‘You’re sweating, man.’ I was like, ‘I’m just hot … I’m still hot from getting out of the shower and throwing my suit on real quick.’ That’s what I thought it was.”
He was wrong. Wolfe fell unconscious and was rushed to the hospital. He didn’t wake up until 26 hours later. It turned out Wolfe had a bruised spine. It most likely occurred in the Aug. 17 preseason game against Seattle when he suffered a neck injury.
“I thought it was fully healed. I came back a little too soon and just kept hitting it, kept hitting it, kept hitting it. It screwed my nervous system up a little bit; it just kind of crisscrossed the wires a little bit.
Wolfe spent four days in the hospital. When he got out doctors told him all he could do was rest.
“Just take a break. Go home and don’t even come around. Just go home and rest. So I just kind of locked myself in the house and relaxed and tried not to watch any football, really, because it just would stress you out a little bit.”
Wolfe is 100 percent now and says he expects 2014 to be his best year yet.