9-year-old boy with half a heart makes 65-yard touchdown run

Player had help from both teams

Published  7:37 AM HST Sep 06, 2013
GOSHEN, Ohio -

Peyton West, of the Goshen Warriors, is one tough 9-year-old. It’s his first year on the team and to say it’s been exciting is an understatement.

“It's really awesome and it's really fun,” said Peyton.

His team's name is a fitting for this little warrior, who was born with half a heart. His mother, Melissa West, said that by the time he was 5 years old, he had undergone three open heart surgeries and has had complications.

“He sustained brain damage as a result (of the complications) and he had to relearn everything from sitting up to eating, breathing and talking. Everything he had to relearn. So now he wears leg braces and he's on a blood thinner and things like that for his heart,” Melissa said.

Peyton’s father Corey is also part of the team and helps coach.

“Don't ever let anything hold you back and Peyton's a good example of that. He'll go out there and give it his all -- 110 percent. He works just as hard as (everyone else),” said West.

West is extra proud of his son after what he’s been through, but there was a certain play on the field that captured the hearts of many.

In a game against the Bethel-Tate Tigers, Peyton -- with the help from both teams -- scored the only touchdown for Goshen and even scored the two-point conversion.

“A fan caught it all on camera. It's just something you can't stop from watching. It's so inspirational, just the sportsmanship that Bethel showed that day. The kids on both teams supported Peyton and they gave him high fives when he was finished. It’s pretty special,” Corey said.

Melissa also can’t forget the moment her son scored his first touchdown.

“It was really cool to see it and to see that it touched other people is just awesome because sometimes we need that break from the reality of our busy lives to realize it's not so easy for everybody else,” Melissa said.

For Peyton, football is therapy and a way to be a kid. He’s already planning on his next touchdown and end zone dance in honor of his favorite football player, Tim Tebow.

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