Notre Dame Football Player Writes Letter to Dying Child
Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o shows off some character on and off the field.
Fox Sports writer Greg Couch recently revealed that Te’o wrote a touching letter to the parents of a 12-year-old girl who was dying from cancer.
A friend told Te’o about Bridget Smith, a girl, who despite all she’s been through, was a big fan of Notre Dame football and Te’o. And so, the senior linebacker decided to write a heartfelt two-page email to the family on October 5th, a letter they received just a few hours before Bridget’s parents unplugged their daughter from the ventilator that was keeping her alive.
“We opened that letter that morning, and it was just a bright spot on the saddest day of our lives,” recalled Bridget’s mother Louise Smith. “We read it to her; we shared with her what it said. They say hearing is the last thing to go. I don’t know. I believe she internalized it.”
“It’s so encouraging to have someone in that position know there’s something more important than football, more important than athletics,” she also added. “It was a beautiful letter, just sharing the experience with the death of his girlfriend.”
Te’o is no stranger to tragedy. On September 11, his grandmother died, just a few hours before his girlfriend Lennay Kekua passed away from leukemia. He shared both these experiences with the family, as they grieved their little girl.
Interesting enough, it took awhile for the media to pick up on Te’o's letter to Bridget story, as he never announced it to anyone, including his school and team.
“I still constantly pray for Bridget and her family,” Te’o tells Couch. “You know, Bridget’s in a better place now. She’s with my girlfriend. There’s no better place to be.”
And while I’m not normally a Fighting Irish fan, my vote is on Te’o for the Heisman.