Cam Newton made the Christmas wish of a terminally-ill boy come true on Tuesday.
Taylor Austin Deckard, 10, suffers from advanced pulmonary hypertension, and the Auburn Tigers fan was forced to spend his holiday at Atlanta’s Egleston Hospital awaiting surgery.
But the young boy got a big surprise on Tuesday when Heisman Trophy winner and reigning NFL MVP Newton stopped by to say hello.
The meeting was all thanks to Courtney Cooper, the young boy’s physical education teacher who posted about Austin’s wish to meet Newton just one week before the quarterback’s surprise visit.
Video of the encounter shows Austin sitting in his bed with his Tigers jersey on as Newton enters the room and gives him a big hug.
Austin is such a fan of Newton that he does all his school reports on the athlete, and has decorated his room with Auburn and Cam newton gear.
‘This is my student, Austin. Just 3 short weeks ago, Austin’s life was changed forever. He was diagnosed with advanced pulmonary hypertension. His prognosis is not good,’ wrote Cooper on Facebook last week.
She then wrote: ‘Just before Thanksgiving, I was headed to an Auburn football game. Austin was in awe of this. He also told me he “wished Cam Newton could come to his birthday party.”
‘Austin may not ever make it to an Auburn football game but I know social media is a strong force that can make things happen.
‘Let’s use it for something positive and spread this like wildfire and somehow, someway get the word to Cam Newton and give this precious little boy his wish.’
Doctors are not certain how long Austin has, which is why Cooper reached out to Newton before the boy’s birthday in February.
Cooper also shared her joy on Facebook Tuesday after the meeting between the two, giving special thanks to 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,’ wrote Cooper.
‘And I know without a doubt that Taylor Austin won’t either.’
Cooper spoke about Austin’s struggle in an interview with ABC 9.
‘The right side worked so hard for so long, that you can see it beating in his chest through his shirt, and it caused the left ventricle to collapse [and] the heart failure to occur,’ she explained.