The 17-year-old QB decided to amputate his leg in February after it was injured while getting tackled back in October.
Alex Ruiz was the quarterback at Linfield Christian School when he dislocated his knee on a tackle last October, according ABC7 KABC’s Curt Sandoval.
The injury severed an artery and cut off blood flow to Ruiz’s leg for 11 hours and so the 17-year-old decided to have the leg amputated below the knee in February.
Last week, Ruiz and his family attended a flag football tournament in San Diego. He was introduced to the crowd at the game by the Challenged Athletes Foundation, a non-profit that raises money to help athletes get sports prostethics.
During his introduction though, there was a special fan waiting in the shadows with a gift for Ruiz.
New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (formerly San Diego Chargers star), who Ruiz watched growing up and was the inspiration behind his decision to wear No. 9, appeared to present Ruiz with his first walking prostethic.
“We are committing to you that in the fall, once you get the hang of this, and it’s ready to start running and training and competing again, we’re going to get you your athletic training prosthetic as well,” Brees told Ruiz.
Ruiz’s parent knew about the surpirse visit from the Super Bowl XLIV MVP for two months, and his mother Shirley Ruiz described it as “the hardest secret” of her life to keep.
Ruiz got invited by Brees to a joint practice the Chargers and Saints are holding this summer and also got a chance to throw a pass to his idol.
“If there’s anything above cloud nine, that’s where I’m at right now,” Ruiz said.