Ex-NFL QB Alex Smith reveals that his young daughter had brain surgery for 'very rare malignant tumor'

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Dec 6, 2021; Orchard Park, New York, USA; ESPN analyst Alex Smith prior to the game between the New England Patriots and the Buffalo Bills at Highmark Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports
Alex Smith has worked as an NFL analyst at ESPN since retiring from football. (Rich Barnes/Reuters)

Alex Smith revealed on Saturday that his daughter and youngest child Sloane was diagnosed in May with a rare brain tumor that required emergency surgery.

The retired NFL quarterback who went though a life-threatening health scare of his own announced the news on Instagram alongside a photo of Sloane. Smith wrote that doctors were able to remove "100% of the tumor" and that Sloane "bounced back" from the surgery. He also wrote that his family is awaiting testing to learn more about treatment for the "very rare malignant tumor."

"On May 10th, Sloane was rushed to the ER with stroke-like symptoms," Smith wrote. "She had an MRI and the doctors quickly informed us that she had a large brain tumor and needed an emergency craniotomy. ... The incredible neurosurgeons @stanforchildrens did a miraculous job and were able to remove 100% of the tumor.

"Sloane — in her true form — bounced back from brain surgery like a rockstar! She didn't skip a beat. After weeks of waiting on pathology, we learned that Sloane's tumor is a very rare malignant tumor with very few documented cases — without a clear road map for treatment. We are currently awaiting more tests and gathering as many opinions as we can from doctors across the country to decide the best path forward."

Smith went on to thank doctors, friends and strangers who have helped Sloane and shown their support.

Smith, 38, played 14 NFL seasons for the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs before spending his last two seasons in Washington. He retired after the 2020 season. He suffered a devastating injury on the field in 2018 that left him with broken leg bones that pierced his skin. He developed an infection of a flesh-eating bacteria that threatened his leg and his life. He ultimately required 17 surgeries to address the injury and the infection.

He survived and recovered not only to walk again to play one last NFL season in Washington in 2020 after nearly two years away from the game. He worked as an NFL analyst for ESPN last season. He and his wife Elizabeth Barry have three children including Sloane.