CINCINNATI — Lifelong Bengals fan Cormac Kavanaugh has had a challenging year. His girlfriend Jessica has been in the hospital for the last 5 months. Kavanaugh said the Cincinnati Bengals helped him get through the tough times.
“I feel like sports is a way to bring people back together,” Kavanaugh said. “It's one of the unifying factors of our country.”
Kavanaugh is originally from Dayton, but now supports his team from across the country. He lives in Florida with his girlfriend, Jessica.
Kavanaugh and his girlfriend were both diagnosed with COVID-19 in August.
“It was bad for both of us, but it's a lot worse for her.”
She was hospitalized on August 7th and things continued to get worse.
Doctors said Jessica, who is just 29 years old, may not make it.
“You know, it's it is heartbreaking. Especially to hear the person you love more than anything else in the world is might not survive.”
On September 12 Kavanaugh and his girlfriend’s parents found a bar down the street from the hospital.
“We just decided that we would just go there because get a beer, try to de-stress.”
It was also the first Bengals game of the season. He sat with a Vikings fan at the bar and watched the Bengals win in overtime.
“It was the first time I actually felt any kind of emotion other than despair,” he said. “It was one of the first times that I actually smiled since taking her to the hospital.”
Just as the Bengals have had to fight and claw their way to get to where they are today, so did jessica.
“It resonated with Jessica's fight and with what her doctors were doing everyday was an uphill battle.”
But after months of darkness for Kavanaugh and his girlfriend, there is light.
“So for the past two weeks, I've had multiple reasons to cry,” he said. “One being the being the first playoff win in my lifetime. And also the good news with Jessica."
Jessica is finally home and healthy. Kavanaugh said not many people thought the Bengals would be where they are today and it’s the same story with Jessica. Luckily Jessica didn’t listen to those odds and neither have the Bengals.