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Alex Smith began his NFL career when he was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers with the first overall pick in 2005. He led the team to the playoffs in 2011 but the next year suffered a concussion mid-season and was replaced by Colin Kaepernick.

In 2013, the quarterback was traded to the Kansas City Chiefs. He guided that team to the playoffs as well and was named to three Pro Bowls. In 2018, the athlete was traded to Washington where a gruesome injury almost cost him his career and his life. Here’s more on that and his wife, Elizabeth, who has been by his side through it all.

Alex Smith and his wife Elizabeth Barry
Alex Smith and his wife, Elizabeth Barry | Noam Galai/WireImage

When they met and put their rivalry aside

Elizabeth Smith (nee Barry) was born on April 2, 1984. Elizabeth was a cheerleader for the Oakland Raiders and met her future husband when they were both in the Bay Area.

They decided to put their rivalries aside and go on a date. For that first date, the pair went to a St. Patrick’s Day Festival in San Jose, California. Afterward, they met up with Alex’s close friend, David Edwards, and had dinner.

When Edwards died by suicide in 2008 Alex told ESPN, “Calling David a best friend really doesn’t do our relationship justice. He was more like an adopted brother to me. He was close to everyone in my family.”

Alex turned to Elizabeth during the grieving process. She was grieving as well having lost an uncle around the same time. The couple tied the knot in 2009 at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco and honored both men at their wedding.

Elizabeth felt ‘nauseous’ watching Alex’s return

On Nov. 8, 2018, Alex suffered a horrific injury that not only almost cost him his career but also one of his limbs.

During a game against the Houston Texans, the signal caller was tackled by Kareen Jackson and J.J. Watt on the same play. At that moment Alex’s right leg snapped as a bone penetrated the skin. His tibia and fibula were broken. With a compound fracture comes concerns of developing a serious infection, and for Alex that became a reality.

He had complications and developed sepsis, which is a potentially life-threatening condition that occurs when the body is fighting an infection. Alex was given the option to have his leg amputated or try and salvage it. He chose the latter and after several additional surgeries, the infection was gone and he began rehabbing.

Finally, in August 2020, his medical team cleared him to play football again. However, his wife was understandably nervous and even said she felt “nauseous” when she watched him take the field again for the first time.


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How many children they have together

The noted that Alex and Elizabeth have three children together.

The couple welcomed their first son, Hudson Smith, in 2011, followed by their second son, Hayes Smith, in 2013. Their youngest, a daughter named Sloane Smith was born in 2016.

How to get help: In the U.S., call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. Or text HOME to 741-741 to connect with a trained crisis counselor at the free Crisis Text Line.