Health

Critically Ill Child Gets His Birthday Wish

NFL MVP goes all in for a little kid with a prayer

No one is sure, not even his doctors, that 10-year-old Taylor Deckard will make it through a critical surgery to save his life.

He’s scheduled to have a stent implanted this week for advanced pulmonary hypertension, something he was diagnosed with just weeks ago.

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So when Deckard’s teacher learned of a special wish of his — to have NFL MVP Cam Newton come to his birthday party — she reached out on Facebook, hoping someone might help make it happen.

It did. After he received numerous phone calls from people who saw the message and knew how to reach him, Newton, a quarterback with the Carolina Panthers, made the trip. Check out the heartwarming video the Auburn Tigers posted on their Facebook page of little Taylor Deckard meeting the reigning NFL MVP on Tuesday. When Newton stopped by Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta — all Deckard could do was hug him.

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Newton gave Deckard an Under Armour bag full of goodies and several signed items.

Newton won the Heisman Trophy as Auburn’s starting quarterback before going on to play in the NFL.

Auburn’s post, as of Wednesday morning, had 1.7 million views.

The teacher’s Facebook page, meanwhile, has also been flooded with comments and views. Courtney Cooper has shared several updates since her first post about her young student on Dec. 20. This was part of a post late Tuesday night:

“God put me in the right place just a few weeks before [Taylor Deckard] ended up in the hospital by being able to talk AU football and about Cam with him! The amount of people who reached out to me, including people I did not even know or from my hometown, proved to me that there is still good in this world and that if we rally together we can make wonderful, memorable things happen. Thank you to Make A Wish and the Cam foundation for acting so fast for this precious little boy. To Cam Newton — I may not ever meet you and that’s ok but what you did for this special little kid tonight made my year and shows compassion and love that we can all learn something from. I know I will never forget this moment, that hug, and this video. And I know without a doubt that Taylor … won’t either.”

The boy’s surgery, originally scheduled for Wednesday Dec. 28, is now scheduled for Friday, Dec. 30.

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