The San Jose Sharks welcomed a special guest into their locker room before Tuesday night’s game against against the Florida Panthers. In fact, the Sharks made 17-year-old Sam Tageson an official member of the team by signing him to a one-day contract.
Tageson has a life-threatening heart condition known as hypoplastic left heart syndrome. He was born with two heart chambers instead of four and has been playing hockey since age 6, despite doctors urging him not to.
“It’s supposed to be debilitating,” Tageson’s mother Lisa Mills told the San Jose Mercury News. “They said he would be the child that would never ride a bicycle, never do any of that. He rides a skateboard. He plays hockey. The doctors all through the years have said give him golf clubs, take the hockey stick away. We tried. It doesn’t work.”
Mills said doctors changed their approach and have given up on telling Tageson “no,” understand that he will slow down when his body forces him to. Tageson practiced with the Sharks on Tuesday morning and was on the ice to warm up with the team before they took on the Panthers.
“No way to top today,” Tageson told reporters of the Make-A-Wish Foundation event.
Tageson was overcome with emotion after being introduced by the team, and there were probably very few dry eyes in the house. It was an incredible moment and a great gesture from the Sharks to make Sam’s dream come true for a day.
Video via Jimmy Traina’s The Big Buzz