Browns QB great Bernie Kosar reveals liver disease fight: ‘Felt like death’

Browns great Bernie Kosar explained that he was “in bad shape” just a few months ago in March amid his battle with liver disease and Parkinson’s disease.

Kosar, 60, was placed on the liver transplant list in late spring, he said in a recent interview with Cleveland Magazine, explaining that his health challenges became severe when he was diagnosed with cirrhosis — the third of four stages of liver failure — about 16 months ago.

In mid-February, Kosar said he was also diagnosed with Parkinson’s, a neurodegenerative disorder of the brain, by an independent NFL doctor.

Browns all-time great quarterback Bernie Kosar breaks a custom Patriots guitar over an amplifier prior to kickoff of the at a Patriots-Browns game on October 16, 2022, at First Energy Stadium in Cleveland, OH. Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

“I wish you could have seen me three months ago,’’ Kosar said, recalling a point in March when he looked unrecognizable. “Actually, maybe not, because I looked like death. I felt like death. E. Coli blood poisoning. Heart trouble. And I really thought I needed the liver transplant ASAP. I was in bad shape.’’

Kosar’s condition has improved recently, according to his doctors.

“Liver disease does tend to fluctuate,” Dr. Anthony Post, a hepatologist for University Hospitals who has been treating Kosar, told the publication. “So he’s on that wave thing where it goes up and down. He’s in a good phase right now, but anything bad could happen.”

In 12 NFL seasons for the Browns, Dolphins and Cowboys, Kosar threw for 23,301 yards and 124 touchdowns.

Taylor Swift poses with NFL legend Bernie Kosar at a Kansas City Chiefs pre-gaMe party at Travis Kelce’s house Sunday, Oct. 22, 2023. Facebook/Kosar Wellness

A first-round selection by Cleveland in a supplemental draft in 1985, Kosar led the Browns to the playoffs in his first season.

He went on to earn a Pro Bowl nod in 1988.

Kosar won a Super Bowl with the Cowboys in 1994 as a backup to Troy Aikman after completing one season with Dallas.

Prior to going pro, Kosar led the Miami Hurricanes to a national championship in 1983, his first season as a starter.

Doctors told Kosar in January that the former quarterback likely needs a new liver.

“Remarkably — you know, he takes a lot of supplements, he’s been exercising and has been on a good diet and is taking the medications that we’ve prescribed him and we’ve been following him pretty closely so — he’s really gotten a lot better,” Post said.

Former Cleveland Browns quarterback Bernie Kosar stands on the sideline before of an NFL game between the Browns and Broncos in Denver on Dec. 23, 2012. AP

Kosar said he feels good and is remaining positive.

“It’s amazing that you can feel as good as I do despite all this stuff going on. I can see that what I’m doing is making a difference. I strongly believe it will continue. Time will tell,” he said.

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