NFL Star Tevin Coleman's Daughter, 6, Placed on Ventilator Amid Sickle Cell Journey

NFL star Tevin Coleman and his wife Akilah Coleman shared that their 6-year-old daughter Nazaneen was recently put on ventilator because she "couldn’t breathe on her own."

By Gabrielle Chung Apr 09, 2024 11:23 PMTags
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Tevin Coleman's 6-year-old daughter Nazaneen has experienced a brief roadblock in her health journey with sickle cell disease.

The NFL star and his wife Akilah Coleman shared that their child was recently placed on a ventilator because she "couldn't breathe on her own" and "needed the machine to expand her lungs [and] breathe for her."

"I was swinging in & out of consciousness, it's a feeling unexplainable watching your child literally fight to breathe," Akilah wrote in a joint Instagram post on April 9. "It's really hard for any parent to be this kind of vulnerable & transparent but we feel it's important because we share so many of our highs & our successions that it would be disingenuous & misleading not to share this."

Calling her daughter the "most resilient girl I know," Akilah shared that Nazaneen—who has a 6-year-old twin brother named Nezerah—also had a blood transfusion amid her hospitalization. Fortunately, the young girl's condition since improved and she was discharged from the hospital, as seen in an accompanying video shared by the couple. 

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Reflecting on the harrowing ordeal, Akilah wrote in the caption, "I've realized one of the hardest things for me to do as a parent, wife & woman is to surrender."

"I cannot always control the outcome & that is such a hard pill to swallow," she continued. "We have moments in life where we are often stripped of legacy, wealth & success & nothing else matters but the air in our lungs. No amount of hard work or dedication can alter this."

Akilah added, "It's humbling but inspiring when we rise back up."

Instagram/Tevin Coleman

Sickle cell disease is an inherited blood disorder that can cause pain and other serious complications, such as infection, acute chest syndrome and stroke, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Though Nazaneen was diagnosed with the disorder when she was an infant, Tevin and Akilah only went public with her condition in recent years.

"I just wanted to protect my daughter when I first learned she first had it," Tevin—who experienced symptoms of sickle cell himself while playing college football—told People last year of why they waited to share Nazaneen's diagnosis. "I wanted to protect her—from the public, from everybody. So that's why I didn't say anything at first."

Instagram/Akilah Coleman

And as Akilah put it, "I want her to be able to identify what she's feeling, but I also want to protect her, in a sense, in her childhood."

Although Nazaneen's health struggles can be "ugly at times," Tevin said he and Akilah make it their mission to keep her spirits up and "make her smile."

"Every time that my daughter does have a crisis or she is in the hospital afterward," the former San Francisco 49ers player explained, "we try to uplift her and keep positive vibes."

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