W&M announcer Colley felt ‘two steps from death’ before conquering COVID-19


WILLIAMSBURG (WAVY) – Jay Colley remembers the exact date; March 17. That is the day he came down with what he thought was a simple cough and sniffles brought on by seasonal allergies.

Then came Thursday.

“It hit me like a ton of bricks,” said the longtime play-by-play voice of William & Mary athletics. Colley came down with a “tremendous headache” and a “slight fever.” Friday morning, at the request of his daughter, Colley paid a visit to his doctor in Williamsburg.

“He [Colley’s doctor] tells me to stay in my car, [walks] out in a hazmat suit, and I knew something was up,” said Colley.

At 63 years old, Colley was tested for the coronavirus. This was during the time when patients had to wait upwards of 14 days for the results. Colley did not find out until 11 days later that he had tested positive.

In between, he spent four days at Williamsburg Regional Medical Center, where he remembers feeling “two steps from death.”

“[I] had temperatures of 103.5, cold chills, the shakes, and so on. So, it was an ordeal, it was an ordeal that wasn’t fun in any way, shape, or form.”

By the time Colley found out his test was positive, he had been through the darkest days. After four weeks of steady recovery, Colley feels just about fully rejuvenated and wants everyone to know just how beatable the virus is.

“It’s not a death sentence,” he said.

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