PITTSFORD, N.Y. (WIVB) — Bills co-owner Kim Pegula made her first public appearance in over a year, attending Sunday’s training camp at St. John Fisher University.
Pegula, who has kept a low profile and been away from the Buffalo sports franchises since going into cardiac arrest in June 2022, watched practice from a black SUV parked behind the end zone with husband Terry Pegula.
Coach Sean McDermott greeted the owners during the team’s stretching portion. Cornerback Tre’Davious White walked near the car to acknowledge the owners before on-field drills started. Josh Allen also visited after practice to greet Kim Pegula and shake her hand.
Son Matt Pegula, normally walking the sideline during practice, stood outside the passenger window for several minutes.
There could be more appearances to come, according to 29-year-old daughter Jessica Pegula. The third-ranked player in women’s tennis referred to her mother’s attendance as camp as the latest baby step in her recovery, and a reflection of her desire to be more active.
“I think it’s kind of the next step for us as a family — how much this year she wants to be around all the action and the games,” Pegula said in Washington, D.C. where she is preparing to compete in the DC Open, which starts on Monday. “I mean, I know she does, but it’s almost like if we’re ready for that to happen.”
Though Jessica Pegula had not had a chance to speak with her mom following practice, she received a glowing status report from her father who said, “she was very happy to be there.”
“I’m glad she’s able to kind of go out and enjoy things more,” Pegula said. “It’s been a tough year. It’s nice for her and nice for everyone around to just see that she’s doing well.”
In an article published in The Players Tribune in February, Jessica Pegula wrote that her sister Kelly “saved [Kim’s] life” by performing CPR. Kim Pegula was in the ICU for about a week and then into an in-care patient facility.
In the same article, Jessica wrote that Kim suffers from significant expressive aphasia and memory issues.
“She can read, write, and understand pretty well, but she has trouble finding the words to respond,” Jessica wrote. “It is hard to deal with and it takes a lot of patience to communicate with her, but I thank God every day that we can still communicate with her at all.”
Kim Pegula remains the president of both the Buffalo Bills and Sabres, but her involvement will not remain the same.
The Pegula family purchased the Sabres in 2011 and then the Bills in 2014.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Jonah Bronstein joined the WIVB squad in 2022 as a digital sports reporter. The Buffalonian has covered the Bills, Sabres, Bandits, Bisons, colleges, high schools and other notable sporting events in Western New York since 2005, for publications including The Associated Press, The Buffalo News, and Niagara Gazette. Read more of his work here.
Aidan Joly joined the News 4 staff in 2022. He is a graduate of Canisius College. You can see more of his work here.