Jim Kelly is recovering after cancer surgery last week, and doctors say the former NFL quarterback has a good prognosis for the future.
“At Mr. Kelly’s request, we thank everyone for their concern and well wishes for him and his family,” Erie County Medical Center doctors said in a statement. The doctors went on to describe the procedure, which involved removing the cancer cells and inserting a prosthetic device in his jaw.
“We are hopeful for and anticipate a speedy recovery and successful outcome,” the statement continued. “Mr. Kelly is recovering comfortably at this time. He is in the capable care of the great nurses and staff here at ECMC. He will remain here at the hospital until he feels comfortable to go home.”
On Friday afternoon Jim Kelly’s wife Jill thanked fans for their prayers and support.
“And JK is recovering! He’s cracking jokes but has no idea what he’s saying,” she tweeted.
Kelly has appeared optimistic about his chances of beating the cancer, but acknowledged that the diagnosis was frightening to hear.
“When you hear the word cancer it actually scares the crap out of you,” Kelly told reporters at his celebrity golf tournament last week. “I know it not only scared me, but it scared my family. But like everything, it’s just another river to cross.”
“You have challenges, and you have to confront them head-on,” Kelly added. “This is just another one. I’ve been to the top many, many times, and I’ve been to the bottom. It’s just one of those roller coaster rides I’ve been on throughout my life, and it’s just another challenge for me. I know I’ll beat it. That’s the bottom line.”
Kelly said he had been experiencing jaw pain for the last six months, and in March underwent a procedure to remove a small cyst from his gums and nasal cavity.
Jim Kelly said he is now hopeful that he will not need chemotherapy or radiation in his recovery.