Former Pro Ballplayer Survives Virus Scare, Vows to Assist Others

By Jessica Easthope

WINDSOR TERRACE — Dan Venezia is not what you picture when you think of someone who could fall victim to coronavirus. He’s strong, in shape, and a former professional athlete, but none of that mattered when Venezia contracted coronavirus last month and was being wheeled into the emergency room, gasping for air.

“After three days of aches and pains I had a 103 fever, a dry cough, shortness of breath,” Venezia said. “I had just about every symptom you read and hear about.”

Pleading with God, Venezia made a promise in his darkest hour: “I want to be able to help more, I want to be able to give more and shine your light on the darkness.”

He decided he would make it his mission to spread a message of hope and faith if he made it out alive.

“I’m very grateful to be able to share this story in an eff ort to help others who are not only struggling with the disease,” Venezia said, “but to inspire others to be closer to God.”

His faith has always been strong. He grew up in a Catholic family in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn and attended Our Lady of Angels. Venezia credits his mother with building his religious foundation, which carried him to see his dreams come true — playing three
seasons with the Minnesota Twins.

Now he is getting back to his roots during recovery. Though he says his background as a personal trainer and former professional athlete, as well as hydroxychloroquine, played a role in beating the virus, it was his faith and the power of prayer that pulled him through.

“When you put it all in God’s hands you give him every victory and every defeat,” Venezia said.

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