Fears leaves 25-year impression on local Patriots fan – New England Patriots News

Fears leaves 25-year impression on local Patriots fan – New England Patriots News

Photo by Eric J. Adler

A great picture can do a lot to evoke emotion. It can provide visual proof of something incredible, you-have-to-see-it-to-believe-it moments. It can freeze time. And in some cases, it can reunite strangers who once crossed paths in a moment of hope. 

That is certainly the case with Coach Ivan Fears and Jess Simmons, a 25-year-old woman from New Hampshire. 

Jess was just 9-weeks old when she underwent her first open heart surgery. She would have three more in the years that followed, but just weeks into her life, she was staying at Boston Children’s Hospital getting treatment for the 13 heart problems she was born with. 

One night around Christmas in 1992, Coach Fears and several Patriots players visited Boston Children’s Hospital to bring toys to the patients there. That night, Coach Fears stood next to Jess’s mother as she cradled her daughter in her arms and posed for a photo. 

And 25 years later, Coach Fears held that photo in his hand. The baby in the picture is now a young woman, and on Monday night, the two reunited in Foxborough.

Photo by Eric J. Adler

“It was a very touching moment. I saw the picture she had where I was standing there with her mother and her mother was holding her, and now here she is, a young lady who’s gone through all of that. She’s just full of life. I was taken aback. It was exciting for me to see,” Coach Fears said. “It was exciting, it really was. It hit me. I was very thankful that I could do it a long time ago, to see the reward she’s here and doing well. In one night, to be able to make somebody happy was kind of exciting. You don’t usually…

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