Lifestyle & Human Interest

Jim Kelly Goes Under Knife Again After Months of Being in 'Excruciating Pain'


Former Buffalo Bills quarterback Jim Kelly is having surgery again, this time, to remove a cyst on his spinal cord, his wife, Jill Kelly, announced on Feb. 7.

The news comes just weeks after Jill Kelly made the exciting announcement that her husband was officially cancer-free.

But cancer-free has not meant the same thing as pain-free. Kelly has been quietly battling “excruciating” back pain for two months, he told The Buffalo News.

“My family’s been yelling at me for a long time, but I kept putting it off, putting it off, putting it off,” Kelly said. “And I got to a point where I can’t put it off anymore.”

“I just can’t wait for a day where I’m pain-free,” he said. “Right now, my back’s killing me. Hopefully, nothing else is wrong.”

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Jill Kelly says the medical hurdle is another opportunity for her family to trust God.

“Maybe you’re thinking what I’m thinking…not another surgery. I know,” she wrote on an Instagram post. “Another mountain to climb.”

“But…also, another opportunity to trust God and walk by faith.”


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When football ends, basketball begins. He would be at a sporting event every night if he could be. Thankful to have a bunch of nephews in high school and college sports! Great game tonight Bradley! Soooo… Tomorrow morning, (7:30 am), Jim will be getting back surgery. He has a cyst pushing up against his spinal cord that needs to be removed…etc. As so many of you have in the past, please pray. And while I am waiting, I will be praying too…so let me know if you’d like me to pray for you or someone you love. Maybe you’re thinking what I’m thinking…not another surgery. ? I know. Another mountain to climb. But…also, another opportunity to trust God and walk by faith. Exodus 14:14

A post shared by Jill Kelly (@jillmkelly) on

After a lengthy football career, Kelly is no stranger to back and neck pain or corrective surgeries.

This surgery will hopefully relieve the pain caused by a cyst pushing up against his spinal cord.

“I already have two plates and 10 screws in my back now. I’ve got a plate and six screws in my neck,” Kelly said. “Now I’m having another back surgery.”


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See you in six months football. We’ll miss you. And we’ll be counting down the days until we see you again. #BillsMafia

A post shared by Jill Kelly (@jillmkelly) on

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Despite his trials and frustrations, Kelly remains determined to fight the good fight.

“I go, ‘Come on, Lord! Please, no more,” he said. “It is what it is. You just have to keep fighting through it.”

“I pray every day that one of these days, I will be pain-free,” he said. “So far, that hasn’t been my case in many, many years.”

Jill Kelly has asked for prayer as her husband endures the surgery and begins recovery.

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A graduate of Grand Canyon University, Kim Davis has been writing for The Western Journal since 2015, focusing on lifestyle stories.
Kim Davis began writing for The Western Journal in 2015. Her primary topics cover family, faith, and women. She has experience as a copy editor for the online publication Thoughtful Women. Kim worked as an arts administrator for The Phoenix Symphony, writing music education curriculum and leading community engagement programs throughout the region. She holds a degree in music education from Grand Canyon University with a minor in eating tacos.
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