For the majority of his life, Taylor “Austin” Deckard was just like any other 10-year-old kid living in Phenix City, Alabama. He loved playing video games, running around with his friends, and spending time with his family.
All seemed to be right in his world, and he had big aspirations and goals for his life.
But that all changed when he found out he had advanced pulmonary hypertension.
Advanced pulmonary hypertension is a rare heart and lung condition—affecting less than one hundredth of a percent (0.01%) of Americans—resulting in chest pain, dizziness, and a fast heartbeat.
There is no cure for it, and due to how severe Deckard’s condition is, three weeks after discovering its presence last year, things were really looking bad.
His teacher Courtney Cooper shared his story on Facebook.
“Just 3 short weeks ago, Austin’s life was changed forever,” Cooper shared. “He was diagnosed with advanced pulmonary hypertension. His prognosis is not good. He will have a procedure done next Wednesday that the doctors fear he may not make it through.”
“Please pray for a miracle.”
Cooper’s post ended up gaining a lot of traction. Many users shared their thoughts and prayers for Deckard, hoping that the boy would push through. Further in the post, Cooper went on to share a certain request she had.
“Just before Thanksgiving, I was headed to an Auburn football game,” Cooper said. “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.”
Things took off from there.
Before Deckard was due to go in for his procedure, Newton agreed to visit the hospital. In a moving video that captured the moment, Deckard leapt from his hospital bed to hug Newton. For the adults in the room, it was said to have been really emotional.
“We were all crying. Cam came through and made this little boy’s wish come true; that’s a miracle in itself,” Cooper explained to Wave 3 News.
Newton came along bearing gifts for Deckard, such as Nerf guns and shirts. Throughout the visit Deckard would stare at him with a look of pure wonder upon his face, amazed that this was truly happening.
As for the teacher who made this dream of Deckard’s a reality, she couldn’t be happier.
“It makes me happy to know there are still good people in this world,” Cooper said.
Deckard’s procedure ended up being a success. He’s taken some time to recover, but he’s still be in awe of that moment where his hero walked through the doors of his hospital room. It’s likely to be a moment he’ll never forget in his hopefully long and healthy life.
Watch the special moment with Decker and Newton below.
— Auburn Tigers (@AuburnTigers) December 28, 2016