San Jose Sharks Give Youth Hockey Player with Heart Condition the Experience of a Lifetime (Video)
Doctors told Sam Tageson not to play hockey because he has a condition called “hypoplastic left heart syndrome,” which means his heart only has two chambers instead of the usual four. However, Sam never listened.
“It’s supposed to be debilitating,” his mother told the San Jose Mercury News. “They said he would be the child that would never ride a bicycle…The doctors all through the years have said give him golf clubs, take the hockey stick away. We tried. It doesn’t work.”
Eventually Sam will have to have a heart transplant. However, for now the 17-year-old is feeling good and happy playing goalie for his Martinez, California, hockey team.
Also, as of Tuesday, he’s an honorary member of the San Jose Sharks—a pretty deserving reward for a kid who won’t let a little thing like a serious heart condition slow him down.
The team worked with the Make-A-Wish Foundation and the Sharks Foundation to make Tageson’s wildest dreams come true yesterday. After signing a one-day contract with GM Doug Wilson, Sam practiced with the Sharks in the morning and then skated onto the ice with the team and stood with them during the national anthem prior to last night’s game against the Panthers.
You can watch the emotional scene unfold below:
Afterward he told reporters at his very own media scrum that there is “no way to top today.”
That sounds about right.