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Former Bears star Steve McMichael in ICU, improving after treatment for sepsis

Former Bears star Steve McMichael hospitalized in ICU for sepsis
Former Bears star Steve McMichael hospitalized in ICU for sepsis 00:27

CHICAGO (CBS) -- The family of Chicago Bears legend Steve McMichael is asking you to pray for the Super Bowl champ after he was hospitalized in the intensive care unit.

McMichael was unconscious when he was admitted to the hospital Thursday night to treat sepsis with intravenous antibiotics. Sepsis is the body's overwhelming and life-threatening response to an infection which can lead to tissue damage, organ failure and death. It can happen to anyone with any type of infection. 

"Like the tough warrior he is, he is now awake, and his vitals are better. His wife, Misty, is at his side and is asking his fans for their prayers," a McMichael spokesperson said in a statement.

McMichael was diagnosed with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, in 2021.

Known affectionately as "Mongo" to fans, the Super Bowl XX champion with the Chicago Bears was named as a semifinalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame last month.

"He needs to see himself enshrined in the Hall of Fame. Please pray for him to get through this," his wife said in a statement.

Up to three player finalists will be announced by the Football Hall of Fame seniors committee on Aug. 22.

In an update on Saturday, his family said he is improving and the sepsis is gone, but McMichael is still fighting pneumonia.

"Steve will be in the ICU for a few more days on IV antibiotics to clear this infection. He also has some fluid in his lungs which he is being treated for as well," said Misty McMichael from her husband's bedside. "He's as feisty as ever. Our Mongo is back! Please keep the prayers coming."

The statement continues to say that McMichael had a DNR in place until this push for his induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in the Seniors category received more traction in the last month. 

Late Thursday night, McMichael indicated to his doctor, who visits him often at home, that he wanted to be taken to the hospital, so the DNR was voided. 

While waiting for the ambulance Steve slipped unconscious. He woke up around 7 a.m. on Friday after being put on IV antibiotics to clear the infections.

"Steve is living to see the day he is finally enshrined. His resilience is unmatched, just like his play on the field of the sport he still loves," said Betsy Shepherd, his publicist and friend of 23 years. "I was fortunate enough to visit Steve on Friday afternoon and he even cracked a smile. I want Team Mongo to know that their support is truly helping Steve through this difficult time in his life."

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