“I think it was the best moment of his life,” is how Selina Carroll described the day last month her four-year-old son Michael got to meet Toronto Maple Leafs player Mitch Marner, his favourite hockey player.
Michael got to meet Marner after a friend of his mom’s, Lisa Luther took to social media to ask the hockey player to meet him. The meeting happened at an NHL game in Montreal the couple was already planning to take the young man to.
“We didn’t know about it,” Selina told the Aurora. “About a week before we went to Montreal a friend asked me for a video or picture or something of Michael asking why he loved Mitch Marner.”
Selina said later that day her friend put the video on Twitter and Instagram and managed to get in contact with a representative of Marner’s the day of the game.
“A few days later the agent contacted us and said Mitch had seen the video and wanted to meet Michael,” she said.
Michael was a premature baby, tipping the scales at two lbs., two oz. He was born with a rare birth defect where his esophagus was not connected to his stomach. He has also had other medical complications.
His surgeries started the day of his birth and he remained in hospital in St. John’s and Toronto for most of the first two years of his life. Selina said even now, they’re back every few months.
When Michael was learning how to eat and speak, he would watch videos of Marner constantly, she said.
“He loves hockey and loves Mitch Marner and we didn’t think (the meeting) was going to happen but it did and it was wonderful,” she said. “When he met him he cried so much he couldn’t speak at first. It was pretty cute.”
Selina said she and her husband Sheldon are extremely grateful for the overwhelming support of friends and family and the social media world that helped their son meet his hero.
Even though a month has passed, Selina said, Michael tells everyone he meets that he met Marner and that they’re now best friends.