SALT LAKE CITY — A University Hospital patient who had recently received a $40,000 wheelchair from Drew Brees found a way to inspire his long-time hero.
Weeks after being featured on the Ellen Degeneres Show, and being gifted $40,000 by the New Orleans Saints quarterback, friends Jackson Smith and Brian McKenna found a way to inspire their new friend.
McKenna, who was recently paralyzed in an accident and is a patient at the University Hospital in Salt Lake City, again appeared via video on the Ellen DeGeneres Show with his friend Smith.
"Our Saints are doing better and I think it has something to do with all of us. Don't you agree?" DeGeneres asked her guests.
"In that first game after our last meeting, I was saying, 'it looks like Drew is playing a little bit inspired,'" he said. "So I actually thought this week maybe I could give him something else. A little bit more inspiration."
McKenna's breathing tube was then pulled out and he showed his new ability to breathe on his own.
Smith and McKenna's story originally captured the attention of talk show host Ellen DeGeneres, who featured them a few weeks back.
As a surprise, Degeneres brought Brees in via video feed. Brees then told McKenna that he would pay for the $40,000 needed for a new wheelchair, and invited Smith and McKenna to a Saints game and practice.