Dallas Cowboys bring holiday cheer to patients

>Christmas came early for patients at Children’s. On Dec. 21, blue and silver Santa hats filled the hospital as Dallas Cowboys players and cheerleaders delivered gifts and signed autographs.

For 12-year-old Harley Duffer, the visit couldn’t have come at a better time.

“Harley had a really rough night and this lifted his spirits,” said Taylor Duffer, Harley’s dad. “We were on the edge of the hospital bed watching the Saints game the other night. Seeing the players who were just on the field walk in Harley’s room touched us.”

Harley has dilated cardiomyopathy – a condition that enlarges the heart and can lead to heart failure. He has been on the waiting list for a new heart since last week.

“It’s been ripping on our hearts and we’ve been sacred to death,” Taylor said. “But I keep telling Harley that the good Lord has us going through this hurdle for a reason, maybe to spread the word about cardiomyopathy.”

Harley was one of more than 100 kids whose day was made brighter by players like DeMarcus Ware.

“I enjoy seeing the kids’ smiles and being role models for them,” Ware said. “You never know what they’re going through and if we can brighten one day, especially close to Christmas, it’s a great feeling.”

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