BALTIMORE (WJZ) — There’s never a great time to be stuck in a hospital, but for some it’s harder around the holidays.
A couple Ravens players visited a local hospital to spread a little cheer.
On Monday, The Union Memorial Hospital was humming, as charts were updated and patients were being monitored.
But on the seventh floor, Thomas Cook is having a hard time of it.
“My whole life changed,” he said.
In the past few months, his wife and daughter have both died.
One floor above, 13-year-old Ashley Witcher is recovering from major back surgery, and Monday is a big day.
“We walked for the first time,” her mother, Karsan Witcher, said. “We walked for the first time in three days.”
Unknown to Ashley or Thomas, there are some guys downstairs getting ready to surprise them, including Ravens running back Javorius “Buck” Allen, linebacker Kamalei Correa, and defensive end Bronson Kaufusi.
Allen says other than being on the field, visits like these are among the best moments in his NFL career.
“It feels really good,” Witcher said. “It gives her a lot of team spirit to go ahead, give her that courage. To get through something this huge, it was a big surgery, and to have people come in and say, ‘You’re doing it, great job!’, it’s really heartwarming.”
And Thomas, he flat out can’t believe it. This is just what he needed.
“I was taking that time to sink deeper and deeper into despair,” he said. “So that was right on right there.”
But ask the players, and these visits are one of the highlights they’ll remember long after they stop playing.
“It’s the little things that stick with me,” Allen said. “Like I said, it changes my life. He said that’s something he’d never forget, and we spent less than five minutes with him, and it’s amazing and it shows that one person can inspire another one based on their character or what they do.”