TAMPA, Fla. – If the flyover, the fireworks, the halftime show, oh and of course the game, were impressively overwhelming on television, ICU nurse Alexandra Patsalos said in person it was “once in a lifetime.”
Patsalos and 7,000 other frontline workers were invited by the NFL to attend Super Bowl 55 in Tampa as a thank you.
“It is so amazing to be here,” Patsalos said. “I can’t even tell you how awesome this is to be at Super Bowl 55.”
Patsalos is a pulmonary ICU nurse practitioner who has had a difficult year.
“The hardest thing for me with COVID is the family members,” Patsalos said. “It’s so difficult to reach out to them and tell them we couldn’t save your family member.”
She got an email about a week and a half ago congratulating her that she “got selected by the NFL.”
“My kids are jealous but very excited,” Patsalos said.
Orlando attorneys Carlos Leach and Rafael Nunez, die-hard Bucs fans, bought tickets to the game to show their support for frontline workers.
They shared videos with News 6 showing a pregame Flo Rida concert and the moment the Bucs took the field.
Patsalos said she was overwhelmingly grateful for the opportunity to attend the game in person and that it would take her mind off the stresses of caring for ICU patients during a pandemic.
“I jumped up from the dinner table and screamed,” Patsalos said. “I was just so excited. I never thought it’d be something I could do. I was so grateful to have the opportunity.”