There are few professional athletes who have put their stature to better use than Ray Lewis.
Lewis is currently sidelined with a torn triceps, but even that hasn't forced him to abandon his drive to help others. The Baltimore Ravens website this week b>told the heartwarming story of how Lewis recently went out of his way to speak with a young man dealing with an unthinkably terrible situation.
Jeffrey Lippit and his older sister Annie were driving through Utah on Oct. 12 when Lippit hit the brakes after noticing a semi-truck stopped ahead. It was a rainy day, and Lippit's Pontiac G6 spun into the back of the truck. While Jeffrey was transported to a local hospital with minor injuries, Annie was flown to Las Vegas in critical condition. Annie went into a coma, and she has been unconscious ever since.
Jeffrey is a huge Ravens fan -- Lewis is his favorite player -- so Jeffrey's father, James, got in touch with the Ravens to see if Lewis would be willing to meet with Jeffrey before the Ravens game in San Diego on Sunday. Upon hearing Jeffrey's situation, Lewis was in.
After breaking the huddle with his teammates at Qualcomm Stadium on Sunday, Lewis walked over to Jeffrey and James. Lewis introduced himself and then spoke directly to Jeffrey for about five minutes. It was a dream come true for the 16-year-old.
"He said I have to be the older brother now," Jeffrey told Ryan Mink of Ravens.com. "I have to be strong for her and she's going to come out of this. Hearing it from him, giving him a hug, him whispering in my ear and giving me a kiss, it was the most amazing thing ever. I really needed that."
Lewis took a picture with Jeffrey and James, who was as touched by the moment as his son. Shortly after the meeting, James posted a photo and wrote a note on Facebook:
"One day we will pay forward his generosity, but right now its just sinking in how special the moment was. It only lasted about 5 minutes but the memories will last a lifetime!"
For updates and more information about Annie Lippit, see here.