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‘There are many, many, many heroes’: NFL Network’s Kim Jones details near-death experience

During an interview on radio row at the Super Bowl this week, NFL Network reporter Kim Jones spoke publicly for the first time about the medical scare that nearly cost the 49-year-old her life while covering the Redskins in November.

Jones told WFAN’s Mike Francesa that she suffered an aortic dissection, a condition in which the body’s largest blood vessel stretches or weakens, resulting in a tear in the wall of the aorta that allows blood to leak. Actor John Ritter died of an undiagnosed aortic dissection in 2003, and Jones said her cardiologist later told her that 80 percent of people who suffer the condition don’t make it to the hospital.

“My neck got hot on both sides,” said Jones, who had been in the Redskins' locker room on Nov. 15 and “got great stuff” before she began experiencing symptoms of the condition for the first time. " . . . All of a sudden, I knew it was something out of the ordinary.”

Jones was rushed to Inova Fairfax Hospital and underwent surgery the following morning.

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On Thanksgiving, Jones posted a video from her hospital bed on Instagram.

“A week ago today, I almost died,” Jones said in the post. “Great doctors saved my life, but that’s for another day. I just really wanted to wish you all a very, very happy Thanksgiving. It is a great day to be alive."

View this post on Instagram

Happy Thanksgiving. 🍁🙏🏈✌️

A post shared by Kimberly Jones (@kimjonessports) on

Six days later, Jones posted another video, this one announcing that she was being released after almost two weeks.

“The surgeon’s saved my life — I’ve told you that — against big odds,” she said.

“There are many, many, many heroes,” Jones told Francesa of the experience. “The Redskins started it off. Their Dr. [Robin] West, their team physician, I will always be grateful to her. Tony Wyllie in PR. Daniel Snyder’s wife came to visit me in the hospital. It’s a wonderful story, and then my luck has continued. I was incredibly lucky.”

Jones, who joined NFL Network in 2012, returned to covering the New York Jets and New York Giants before the end of the season. In Atlanta, where she is covering the buildup to Super Bowl LIII, Jones told Francesa on Tuesday that she’s feeling “great.”

“I never, ever, ever was emotional in the hospital, which is odd for me, because I’m emotional in my life, and I never, ever, ever entertained the idea that I would not be back,” Jones said.

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