‘Survivor’s’ Travis Sampson Almost Died Of COVID

A “Survivor” castaway recently opened up about a health scare where he almost died. Find out how Travis “Bubba” Sampson came through it all and how he feels on the other side of it.

Sampson Was In the Intensive Care Unit On a Ventilator Earlier This Fall

According to a story by Sullivan County, Tennessee news outlet WJHL, Travis “Bubba” Sampson was in the intensive care unit due to COVID-19 in September.

“A local school official resource officer who was also a competitor on the CBS reality show ‘Survivor’ is in the intensive care unit battling COVID-19,” said the local newscaster in a video. “Travis Sampson’s family said he was hospitalized in a local ICU and placed on a ventilator. Sampson has worked for the Sullivan County Sheriff’s office since 2018. He’s a student resource officer at Sullivan Gardens K-8 school.”

Fortunately for Sampson, he managed to fight off the virus and was eventually released from the hospital, but not before experiencing severe complications, telling WFXR TV that he is “lucky to be alive.”

Sampson Was In ‘Extremely Critical Condition’ For 8 Days

According to WFXR TV, the local sheriff’s office had already lost two officers to complications from COVID-19 and Sampson said that he knows he’s fortunate to have recovered.

“At the Sullivan County Sheriff’s office, two officers have died in recent weeks from complications related to coronavirus. One of their officers almost died, but tonight he’s on the mend and sharing the story of what happened,” said the newscaster.

“It started off … I thought it was just a sinus infection,” Sampson recalled, saying that it got so bad he could barely breathe and that’s when his wife took him to the hospital.

Sampson did say he was not vaccinated, though he clarified that it was because he had already had COVID-19 once and thought he couldn’t get it again.

“I was under the impression that if you had it, it was like chickenpox, you didn’t get it again. So I thought I was immune,” said the “Survivor” alum.

The story said Sampson spent eight days “in extremely critical condition,” and was hospitalized for a month altogether. He has been told it could take up to a year for his lungs to heal completely.

“I’m lucky to be alive,” said Sampson, adding that having COVID was “the toughest thing [he’s] been through.”

“My appreciation for life, my appreciation for people has gotten so much greater,” said the married father of four sons, adding, “I didn’t win a million dollars, but I’m still here.”

Sampson played on “Survivor: Vanuatu,” the ninth season of the show, back 2004. He was on the Lopevi tribe with all of the men because that was the season where the tribes were split by gender. Sampson was the sixth person voted out of the season.

“Survivor 41” airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. Eastern and Pacific times on CBS. The 42nd season premieres Wednesday, March 9, 2022. Seasons 43 and 44 are casting now, so if you’ve always wanted to apply, now is your chance!


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