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Lamar Jackson brings young Ravens fan to tears

Lamar Jackson brings young Ravens fan to tears

Landon Berry, a 10-year-old Baltimore Ravens fan from Mississippi, thought he was at the team hotel in New Orleans to meet his father’s friend from work.

Landon, who has hypoplastic left heart syndrome, was getting eager sitting in the third-floor meeting room.

“When’s your friend coming up here?,” Landon asked his dad. “We might miss Lamar downstairs.”

Then, Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson walked through the door.

Wearing Jackson’s purple No. 8 jersey, Landon leapt up from his chair and wrapped his arms tightly around the former NFL MVP for 20 seconds. “I like the jersey, dog,” said Jackson, before wiping a tear from Landon’s face.

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The video of the hug has been viewed 5.4 million times on the Ravens’ Twitter account.

“Everything was just so heartfelt,” said Jason Berry, Landon’s father who is in car sales in Biloxi, Mississippi. “It was incredible. It was absolutely incredible.”

Landon has a heart condition in which the left side of his heart did not form correctly. It has required him to have three surgeries: at 8 days old, 2½ months and 2½ years. He wears a pacemaker and will likely need a heart transplant by the age of 20.

His health keeps him from playing contact sports like football. But, on Sunday, Landon got to live out a dream.

After hugging Jackson, Landon looked up and asked, “Can I catch passes from you?”

Running around a table in the middle of the conference room, Landon caught throws from the two-time Pro Bowler.

“The whole experience was mind-blowing,” Jason Berry said. “I’m speechless. We really are very blessed.”

A year ago, Landon told his father that he was no longer a Saints fan. He was rooting for the Ravens. “Because Lamar Jackson is a beast!” Landon said.

When Landon’s father saw that the Ravens would be playing 90 minutes away – a “Monday Night Football” game at the Saints – he attempted to reach out to Jackson, the Ravens, the Saints and even the NFL through social media. But he had no luck.


Lamar Jackson brings young Ravens fan to tears

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A friend from work, Jason Daniel, sent a message through the Ravens’ website and received a response from Chad Steele, the senior vice president of communications for the team.

Ravens vice president of public relations Patrick Gleason approached Jackson about a potential meeting with Landon, and he was immediately on board with it.

When Daniel told Berry that the Ravens had contacted him, Berry said, “Man, I couldn’t even hardly talk. You got to be kidding, right?”

A day before the Ravens’ 27-13 win in New Orleans, Jackson spent about 20 minutes with Landon and his family, which included his father, mother Megan, and older brother Gavin. Jackson also gave Landon passes to get on the Superdome field before the game, and Jackson came over to him when he saw him.

“I think something about that hug, he could feel in that moment how powerful that connection was,” said Tom Valente, the Ravens’ director of public relations who brought Jackson to the room.

After meeting Jackson, Landon put his arms around his father.

“He gave me the biggest hug, and he squeezed me probably about as hard and as long as he squeezed Lamar,” Jason Berry said. “But it was a hug that I’ll never forget.”

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