High school quarterback Alex Ruiz found himself "above cloud nine" last Friday after his favorite football player, New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees, presented him with his first prosthetic leg.
Ruiz, who plays for Linfield Christian High School in Temecula, Calif., had his left leg amputated below the knee in February as a result of a severe knee injury he suffered in an October game.
Brees surprised Ruiz at a flag-football event in San Diego and even threw the football around after giving him his new prosthetic. Brees said once Ruiz gets comfortable with the prosthetic, he'll transition into an athletic prosthetic — with the aim of playing football again.
"It's going to allow him to walk around, get around, and then eventually get to the point where he's able to play football again," Brees told San Diego reporters. "Because ask him right now and there's no denying the look in his eye that that's what he wants to do."
So honored to present 17 yr old Alex Ruiz @aruiz_39 with his walking prosthetic thanks to FNA Flag Football @playfna and Challenged Athletes @cafoundation. Can’t wait to present you with your athletic training prosthetic this fall! You inspire us all!
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Brees told ESPN the presentation was "very emotional" and "really exciting."
"If there's anything above cloud nine, that's where I'm at right now," Ruiz told reporters.