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'I just started crying': Blue Jays player signs jersey for man in hospital

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Ontario resident Carla Norris-Hutcheson says she never expected to be gifted a Blue Jays jersey for her ailing husband when she sat alone at the team’s home opener next to a couple of kind strangers.

She said that one minute, she was chatting away with the group of young men, and the next they handed her a gift bag with a blue George Springer jersey, her husband’s favourite, saying it was a gift to help uplift him during this difficult time in hospital.

“I just started crying,” Hutcheson told CTV News Toronto on Monday. “It really touched me that they did that for us. I told my husband what happened and he felt just so blessed.”

“He felt really wonderful that somebody took care of me while he couldn’t.”

Her husband, Paul Klith, is at the Toronto General Hospital due to liver failure. Hutcheson says she been visiting him from Gananoque for the past two weeks since he was admitted.

Hutcheson said she was at the game at her husband’s insistence. She was spending long days and nights in hospital, and he wanted her to have a little bit of fun and to celebrate their anniversary.

“I felt very nervous. I had never been to a game alone,” she said. “I was scared because you don’t know who you are going to sit with and maybe they wouldn’t talk to me but everybody was so kind.”

“It’s been such a long journey, every night being in a hotel on my own and sitting in a room watching him sleep and trying to help.”

Things took an even more shocking turn, she told CTV News Toronto, when star player George Springer and his team tracked her down on social media and offered to sign the jersey.

“My husband was in shock. He thought it was a joke,” she said. “He is so excited and wishes he could go to a game, but for now he’s just watching it on TV.”

Despite being a huge Blue Jays fan, Hutcheson said Klith never had a jersey before. He’s never been to a game, she said, because he’s a truck driver for Tim Hortons and always on the road so this signed jersey will be extra special.

“We always kept saying we’re going to get to the game this summer, but it was hard for him,” Hutcheson said.

Laura Brady, Toronto resident and Blue Jays fan, told CTV News Toronto on Monday that she witnessed the whole act of kindness transpire at the home opener and shared the story on social media to inspire others.

“It was just a purely kind gesture,” Brady said. ”it was just really lovely to witness.”

She said she never expected that George Springer’s representatives would contact her and ask to be connected with Hutcheson, whose number and name she did not have. She said her post exploded on social media, going viral.

Eventually, Hutcheson was found after her friend in Gananoque saw Brady’s post and knew it was about Hutcheson.

“If my one friend had not seen it I wouldn’t have known they were searching for me,” she said.

CTV News Toronto reached out to the Toronto Blue Jays for comment but have not received a response yet.

Hutcheson said she’s very grateful for everyone who came together to show kindness to her husband and herself, especially the group of young men.

“Paul, Alex and Chris were the ones that sat beside me in the game and they just checked on me and they made me laugh and they were just so good to me,” she said. “I just hope this will get to them so they know how much it really really helped me and helped by husband.”

“We’re trying to be very positive during this time and hoping for the best.” 

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