Lightning’s national anthem singer urges vaccination after being hospitalized with COVID-19

Sonya Bryson-Kirksey, the Tampa Bay Lightning’s national anthem singer for home games, has been admitted to a hospital following a COVID-19 diagnosis, her husband tells FOX 13.

Jimmie Kirksey Jr. said she is doing better Thursday morning compared to the previous day. He said Sonya tested positive for the delta variant.

"She's wanting people to be aware that even with the shots you can still get it. At least the shots do help, like in her case. If she didn't have it, Lord knows it would have been worse," he told FOX 13. "So, she's asking everyone to please get the shots. If not for yourself, but others."

Sonya is a familiar face during Lightning games and her vocal performance during the national anthem is a tradition before the puck drops at home games. For a few years now, Bryson-Kirksey has been battling multiple sclerosis. There is currently no cure for the disease.

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According to the Mayo Clinic, the immune system for those who have multiple sclerosis attacks the protective sheath that covers nerve fibers and causes communication problems between the brain and body.

Over the years, Sonya hasn’t been shy about her symptoms. 

"If there is something I can do to help someone else; either talking about it, explaining my experiences or working to raise funds for a greater cause, I'm gonna do it. That's just me," she told FOX 13 in 2019. "Do you what you can while you can because you never know what tomorrow holds."

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Fans and friends have been displaying an outpouring of support following her recent hospitalization, including Lightning in-game host Greg Host.