SPOKANE, Wash. – You’d cry too if you met the men who saved your life.
Retired Seattle Seahawks receiver Ricardo Lockette broke down and wept this week when he had a surprise visit from the members of the Arlington Fire Department he believes saved his life after a terrifying hit during a game against the Cowboys in 2015.
“I was inches away from death,” Lockette said. “I was laying on the field. I couldn’t move my hands, I couldn’t move my arms. I couldn’t feel anything. The only thing I had control of was my eyes.
“But by the time you guys got through, by the time I was on that mat, I was leaving the field with the L up, thanks to you guys.”
Deputy Chief Gerald Randall and engineer paramedic John Robertson flew in from Arlington, Texas, to surprise Lockette at the Washington Fire Chiefs Conference.
Immediately after being reunited, the paramedics and Lockette broke down in tears.
“I don’t know what you say to somebody who saved your life,” Lockette said.
Lockette suffered severe disc and ligament damage in his neck and was forced to retire.
He's stayed active, however. The first thing he did after he got out of the hospital was buy 100 cheeseburgers for homeless people. He's also spent time before this week talking to first responders, and he's become active in raising money for spinal-cord injury research.
Dallas Cowboys safety Jeff Heath was not fined by the NFL for the hit, which came on a punt return during the Seahawks' 13-12 victory.