Sam Tageson, 18, was born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, a defect that caused two of the chambers in his heart to be underdeveloped. Sam had his first surgery when he was 7 days old.
But that hardly slowed him down: Sam has also been playing hockey since he was 4 years old. And this week, he signed an official one-day contract with his favorite team, the San Jose Sharks, thanks to Make-a-Wish.
"He eats, sleeps, and does everything hockey," his dad Louis Tageson said. "I mean if he's not outside playing hockey, he's inside playing PlayStation hockey. There's pretty much not a stat he doesn't know."
"He's so humble," Make-a-Wish board of directors member Scott Loyet continued. "When we interviewed, he knew what he wanted, but he was quiet about it." But yesterday it came true.
On Tuesday, the Sharks held a press conference to announce their newest player, with media and reporters invited. After signing his contract, Sam was given a hat and jersey, which really made it official.
He practiced with the team (and even scored on their goalie!) then skated through San Jose's infamous shark's head onto the ice at their game that night. He's the first non-player the club has ever allowed to skate through the head.
Wearing a No. 20 jersey, Sam sang the national anthem with the team and, during the game, was shown on the Jumbotron, prompting a standing ovation from the crowd.
"I think it's a credit to all our players and everybody in our organization that this actually is our pleasure to be able to do," Sharks General Manager Doug Wilson said. "To see the smile on his face is worth it all."
Afterwards, Sam said it was "a once-in-a lifetime experience."
Watch video from his big day below: