Brittany Eyrich, 10, who suffers from autism and epilepsy, approached Darius Johnson, a 6-foot-3, 293-pound Middle Tennessee State University football player at a Special Olympics event Monday at the Murfreesboro, Tenn., school Monday.
"She loves football, but she usually doesn't go up to anyone like that," said Theresa Eyrich of her introvert daughter, "but for some reason she saw number 75 (Johnson) and she really wanted to meet him and get a picture with her. He was so nice to her."
She ran her 100-meter dash event soon after, suffering a heat-related seizure at the end.
"We had to pick her up and move her quickly for her medicine," her mother said.
Johnson found the child, scooped her up and carried her to safety so medicine could be administered, Gannett Tennessee reported.
Britney recovered at home, but her mother had one more thing to do, she said.
"I called (Johnson) and thanked him from the bottom of my heart. He didn't have to do what he did. Those seizures can get bad if they aren't treated, but we couldn't carry her."