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Ramon Meets His Hero

Ramon's wish to meet Tom Brady New England Patriots / Eric J. Adler

“ His wish helps him bravely face the challenges that lie ahead ”

- Ramon's Mother, Belinda

  • Ramon , 17

    • Hypoplastic right heart syndrome
    • To meet Tom Brady and the New England Patriots

The year 2000 was a very important one for Ramon. This was the year he was born, and the year Tom Brady was drafted and began his record-breaking Hall of Fame career.

The year 2000 was a very important one for Ramon. This was the year he was born, and the year Tom Brady was drafted and began his record-breaking Hall of Fame career. 

On May 25, 2000, Ramon entered this world and immediately faced challenges most cannot fathom. Born with Hypoplastic right heart syndrome (HRHS), Ramon spent the first three weeks of his life in the hospital’s NICU. HRHS is a rare congenital heart defect in which the right atrium and right ventricle are underdeveloped. Ramon has had four open-heart surgical procedures, catheterization procedures, stress tests and more hospital stays than one can count. His mother Belinda says, “everything is critical for a heart patient…and even more so for a child.”

Like most boys his age, Ramon is an avid sports fan. He loves baseball, basketball, and soccer…but football is his passion. And while his illness prohibits him from playing, it certainly hasn’t impacted his love of the game…he just stays close to the action from the sidelines.  For years, Ramon has been volunteering at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Laredo coaching football and giving back to his community. He knows everything there is to know about the game…player stats, rookie draft picks, college and pro players, and the list goes on. But his favorite?  Five-time Super Bowl champions the New England Patriots with his favorite player, one of the winningest quarterbacks of all time, Tom Brady, at the helm.  With aspirations of one day becoming a sports broadcaster, Ramon’s wish was to meet Tom Brady at Gillette Stadium.

Ramon’s wish came true on July 26th when he, his family and eight other wish families, gathered together at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts. Ramon could barely contain his excitement as everyone stepped into the visitor’s locker room with eyes wide open and smiles the size of a football field. It was here where Ramon happily accepted his very own Patriot’s jersey with his name on the back. He donned his uniform as he prepared to meet his hero. Then the moment came…they were greeted by Tom in the Optum Field Lounge where they took pictures with the five Lombardi Trophies.

The group sat down with Tom and watched clips of the previous season while Tom narrated his thoughts on the Super Bowl. He talked about why he looks at the big screen to review the previous play, how the football is like a hot potato and he has to get rid of it quickly and, what he would do if he wasn’t a professional athlete. “You know, I don’t really think about it,” Tom said. “I love football so much I didn’t really think of a back-up plan.”

The group then headed out onto the patio by the field and took some photos with Tom before they headed over to Patriot Place for some lunch. “Seeing Ramon’s happiness after all he’s been through was just pure joy,” Ramon’s mother Belinda said. She continued, “His wish created so many amazing memories that we’ll be able to look back on, and smile, for the rest of our lives.”

When a wish comes true, it creates strength, hope, and transformation. Ramon’s mother Belinda, tells us how his wish had a lasting impact, and one she knows will help him continue to bravely face the challenges that lie ahead.  For now, Ramon is stable. He has a new aortic valve and takes medication for irregular heartbeats, and will need liver check-ups yearly. But with so much behind him, Ramon is looking forward to getting his driver’s license this month, graduating high-school in 2018, and with inspiration from his wish, making plans for his future career in sports broadcasting.

Thank you to our friends at the New England Patriots for their generous support of our mission.  Each year, the team warmly welcomes children from across the country to Gillette Stadium for their wishes. We’re grateful for their compassionate partnership in creating once-in-a-lifetime experiences for wish children. Go Pats!

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