When a stadium filled with 100,000 people goes dead silent, it’s never a good thing. That was the case at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX on a Sunday night in November of 2015 when Seattle Seahawks’ wide receiver Ricardo Lockette laid motionless on the Dallas Cowboys’ field.

The 31-year-old, who was blindsided on punt coverage in garbage minutes, was tended to by some of the city’s finest first responders as fans nervously waited for movement.

In the end, Lockette suffered a career-ending neck injury that required surgery. But, it was in those first few minutes after the initial impact that made the difference between life and death.

Now less than two years later, Lockette had the chance to meet his “heroes” in a surprise reunion at the Washington Fire Chief’s conference in Spokane.

“The reason that I have the opportunity to hug my mom now, the reason that I got an opportunity to go to my daughter’s graduation from elementary school yesterday is because of you guys. It’s more like I’m talking to my angels,” he said to the group before finding out that two of the first responders who tended to him on the field that fateful night were in the audience.

Take a look at the surprise meeting: