Young Boy ‘Walks’ For Indy Driver at Peyton Manning Hospital Visit
Liam Sprague has had a lot to deal with in his short life. He suffered a debilitating stroke while waiting for a heart transplant as a very young child. The stroke left him unable to walk or talk. Then he received a welcome heart transplant four years ago and began an arduous journey of rehabilitation.
He speaks some now and though mostly confined to a wheel chair, he has been eager to walk again. On Thursday, during a Racing For Kids visit to Indianapolis’ Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital At St. Vincent, Liam showcased just how far he has progressed. At his mother’s urging, Liam rose out of his wheelchair and began to walk ever so slowly across the hospital’s lobby occasionally assisted by IndyCar Racer, Stefan Wilson, who was making his annual visit to the popular hospital on the north side of Indy. It was a dramatic show of determination and courage, which had Wilson and a joyful lobby of staff and visitors cheering Liam’s every step. That definitely was the highlight of Wilson’s two hour stop at Peyton Manning during which he engaged several dozen patients in bed-to-bed visits.
Signing autographs, delivering the bright red Racing For Kids baseball caps to each child, Wilson talked about his racing career and his upcoming race in The Indy 500.
His easy manner won over new fans and elicited promises from many to cheer on his #25 Andretti Autosport Honda Dallara race car on race day, May 27.
For the hospital’s part, it’s staff and caregivers were delighted when Wilson said he is looking forward to returning to Peyton Manning again a year from now to see the kids and check in on his new friend Liam.