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.