POSTED: 03/18/2014 12:24:25 PM PDT
A 17-year-old youth hockey player from Martinez with a life-threatening heart condition is getting a taste of life in the NHL on Tuesday.
Sam Tageson practiced with the Sharks this morning, and will skate onto the ice with the team through the trademark shark head Tuesday night before San Jose’s game with the Florida Panthers, then stand on the blue line during the national anthem.
“No way to top today,” he told reporters in his own media scrum after the first event in a day arranged through the Make-A-Wish Foundation and the Sharks Foundation.
Tageson has been diagnosed with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, having been born with two heart chambers, not four. But against the advice of doctors, he has been playing hockey since age 6.
“It’s supposed to be debilitating,” said Lisa Mills, his mother. “They said he would be the child that would never ride a bicycle, never do any of that. He rides a skateboard. He plays hockey. The doctors all through the years have said give him golf clubs, take the hockey stick away. We tried. It doesn’t work.”
Eventually the doctors changed their approach.
“Now, they’ve given up telling him no,” Mills said. “They say he’ll stop when he knows it’s time.” …
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