The heartwarming moment star players of a football team surprised an autistic boy on his birthday after classmates rejected his invitation has been shared online.
Only one of Christian’s friends had RSVP’d to his party, so when eight local players arrived, the nine-year-old fell back in shock before leaping up with excitement.
His mother, Lindsay Larsen, captured the adorable moment on camera, showing her overjoyed son giving a high-five to each of the players, who showed up in their sport uniforms.
She explained in a post to Facebook last month how she had “given in” to Christian’s eager requests to invite “all his friends” to his birthday party at their home in Meridian, Idaho, in the United States.
Ms Larsen held off making any plans until she had a good idea of how many kids would show up, but had her heart broken when just one girl responded with a yes.
“When days passed and I didn't hear anything, I thought perhaps Christian forgot to pass them out. Then I heard from one. He did get them out,” she wrote in her post.
“At first I was just hoping that with the end of the year chaos, that the invitations were overlooked.”
Five days later, Ms Larsen shared the incredible news of how her story had reached a local football team’s coach, who wanted to help make Christian’s day special.
“I had a friend from Texas contact me after my first post about Christian's birthday. Her kind initiative, made a birthday miracle happen,” she explained.
“Before I knew it, Coach Dan was reaching out to me, asking if he could come to the party with some of his best players.”
Ms Larsen said observing the party play out was “truly amazing to watch”.
“Those High School seniors stayed until the end of the party. They interacted with all of the kids. They played games and got down on the level of the little kids and got them all involved,” she wrote.
Ms Larsen described how Christian’s birthday dream had come true, with the players excitedly watching as he opened his gifts, and singing him Happy Birthday.
“There is so much good in this world, and when things are hard, the good shines even brighter,” she said.
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