Drew Brees delivers prosthetic leg to high school QB who needed amputation after on-field injury
Alex Ruiz, 17, lost his leg after a serious injury suffered on the field last October
Linfield Christian High School (CA) quarterback Alex Ruiz suffered a devastating knee injury on the football field back last October, one that changed his life forever. The 17-year-old's knee dislocated and severed an artery in his right leg, cutting off blood flow for 11 hours.
In February, Ruiz made the decision to amputate the leg below the knee. Despite the loss of his leg, he still hopes to continue playing football.
That possibility of that dream got better odds late last week when New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees hand-delivered a prosthetic leg to Ruiz, who grew up watching Brees with the Chargers and wears No. 9 in his honor. Brees surprised Ruiz last Friday at a flag football event in San Diego.
"In the back of my mind, I said to myself, 'I hope I get a chance to meet this young man someday,'" Brees recalled. "Alex has suffered a long and very difficult road but has remained so positive and insists this set of circumstances will not hold him back. He still has loftier goals than ever for his athletic career and beyond. We wanted to help his dreams come true.
Brees also committed to paying for Ruiz's athletic training prosthetic down the road, once he gets used to walking with the new one. The athletic training prosthesis will help the teenager start running and doing football-related activities.
Ruiz, who was also invited to a Saints-Chargers joint practice this summer, seemed thrilled with the surprise.
"If there's anything above cloud nine, that's where I'm at right now," he said.
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