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87-Year-Old Woman Meets NFL QB Carson Palmer, The Recipient Of Her Late Daughter’s Achilles Tendon

You won’t see the Arizona Cardinals in the playoffs this year. Their 7-8-1 season is one to forget, but this story is absolutely one you’ll remember.

There’s an 87-year-old woman in Houston named Dorothy Hyde. She has no interest in football, but during the NFL season, she dives into the sports’ section every day. Why? So she can keep up with Cardinals’ quarterback Carson Palmer.

Hyde had no idea who Palmer was before he wanted to get in contact with her to say “thank you.”

Hyde lost her daughter, Julie De Rossi, to a drunk driver in 2004. De Rossi was just 44 years old. In the tragedy, some relief came in the form of De Rossi’s organs being donated to over 50 people.

Palmer was one of them.

After blowing out his knee during a game, he needed surgery to repair his left ACL. They used De Rossi’s Achilles tendon for the job. Palmer went on to throw 174 touchdowns on the tissue.

Curiosity struck and Palmer asked if he could connect with the donor family, so Life Gift reached out Hyde and told her the recipient of De Rossi’s tendon was a “high-profile sports figure.”

Palmer and Hyde eventually spoke on the phone, but until November, the two had never met.

“I feel like I have another grandson,” she told NFL Films on the way to the Cardinals’ practice facility.

The two embraced and Palmer put things into perspective.

“Just having a chance to talk with Dorthy in person, all she’s thinking about is Julie as she’s talking to me. You can tell,” he said. “My playing career is insignificant, but the lives that she saved is what’s important.”

Take a look at this touching film about their story.


Kim Constantinesco

Kim Constantinesco

As the founder and editor-in-chief of Purpose2Play.com, Kim Constantinesco dives under the surface hype to illuminate heroes in the sports world. Whether talking with the first man with cerebral palsy to summit Mt. Kilimanjaro, or the first woman to mountain bike across Afghanistan, Kim has a keen interest in shining the spotlight on ordinary people doing extraordinary things. She believes it's time media starts placing a higher value on the people and communities who are actively doing something to make the world a little better. Previously, she covered the Denver Broncos and the NFL for seven seasons. Her work has been featured on NFL.com, CBS Sports, Fox Sports, The New York Times, and USA Today. She resides in Denver, CO. When not working, she can be found deep in the Rocky Mountains throwing backflips on her snowboard. Follow Kim on Twitter: @KimCon14
Kim Constantinesco

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