WMBD/WYZZ-TV - PEORIA, Ill. -- Brandon May's perspective on baseball changed this past spring.
"Ten days into spring training, I felt cramps and shortness of breath," said May. "Four, five days later I couldn't get out of bed."
May, 23, was diagnosed with Valley fever, a fungal infection caused by spores in the dirt and air in desert areas. The third baseman needed a series of surgeries to clean out fluid which had collected in his lungs.
A seemingly healthy professional baseball player spent 16 long days in the hospital.
"You can get lonely, the days are long," said May. "Just to have someone come by the room and say, 'Hey, we're praying for you. God has a plan.' It helped be so much."
May missed the first month of the Chiefs season but now that's he's healthy he's been a regular in the lineup. But he's never forgotten his days in a hospital bed.
So when the Children's Hospital of Illinois asked if the Chiefs had any players willing to visit local patients, May jumped at the chance.
"Just to go in their and put a smile on their face, make their day. For my experience that means the world," said May.
Antibiotics for the next six-to12 months will help May finish off the Valley fever. But he says the after-effect of appreciating his health and encouraging other hospital patients will never go away.
"Until you've gone through something I've gone through, you kinda take your health for granted," aid May. "Sharing my story with others I feel I can help. Anytime I have the opportunity, I want to do that."
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