Weld County boy meets football hero after surviving cardiac arrest

MILLIKEN, Colo. -- A teenage boy is celebrating a once-in-a-lifetime experience after coming close to death. At the age of 14, Dylan Potthoff’s heart stopped beating. But thanks to his mom and first responders, he has quite the story to share.

FOX31 first introduced viewers to Dylan in March of 2017 when the town of Milliken celebrated first responders for saving the boy's life. After Dylan suffered cardiac arrest, he was at Children’s Hospital in Aurora for 11 days. He was in a coma for four of those 11 days.

Dylan’s heart stopped after a game of basketball with friends on Feb. 18, 2017. He was at home when his health declined. His mom -- a nurse -- started CPR until medics arrived.

Dylan, who will soon turn 16, is now thriving. A pacemaker and defibrillator combination device keeps his heart running smoothly.

The Make-A-Wish Foundation recently got to work to celebrate the recovery. Dylan, who loves football, was flown to New York City. He was put up in a hotel and met his hero: New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.

“I went and threw a pass to Odell Beckham and he caught it with one hand, and he threw it back to me and I caught it … so that was pretty cool,” Dylan said.

Dylan also met the Giants' head coach and other players. The trip, in early August 2018, allowed Dylan to see the Giants play a game against the Cleveland Browns.

It's an experience he will never forget. He says -- even though his condition means he'll never play football again -- he will always have a love for the game and the man who he calls the best wide receiver in the NFL.

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