Human Interest

NFL player wins Super Bowl, then races to birth of his child: ‘It was a great day’

Van Jefferson

Los Angeles Rams player Van Jefferson had more than just a Super Bowl victory to celebrate last Sunday — he also welcomed the birth of his new son.

According to ABC News, Van’s wife, Samaria, went into labor during the middle of the game and was seen leaving the stadium on a stretcher shortly after halftime. Samaria later explained on the TODAY show that her contractions started earlier that day, but they were spaced far enough apart that she wasn’t concerned.

“I just knew I wanted to push through as long as I could,” she said according to Daily Mail. But as the game progressed, things picked up. “I was wincing in pain, and then watching Van,” she said. “It was just crazy, but at half-time was when I was like, OK, it’s getting worse.”

Samaria spoke to The Athletic before the game, explaining that she wouldn’t let being 40 weeks pregnant stop her from attending. “Just like any other game, I’m going to be there this Sunday and I’m going to stay calm … and pray to God my water doesn’t break,” she said. “I am 100 percent going to be there. I would not miss this moment for anything. I will be 40 weeks pregnant at the Super Bowl, supporting my husband 100 percent.”

READ: NFL star speaks powerful pro-life message: ‘There are no unplanned lives’

She went on to explain that she had left strict instructions that no one was to notify Van if she did go into labor during the game — which is exactly what happened. “He is going to play. He is going to keep playing,” she said. “I said, ‘You play, I’ll see you at the hospital afterwards.’ That’s what it is. I will never take that moment away from him. I want to see him glorify God on the field that day. … Knowing Van and how he is so caring, he just worries so much about me and the kids. … If I did tell him or someone told him during the game, he would come off that field. We’re saying, ‘Hey, you go play. We’ll see you after.’”

Sure enough, Van wasn’t told until the game’s end that Samaria was in labor. With that news, he quickly left his celebrating teammates behind and exited the stadium with the couple’s five-year-old daughter to join Samaria at the hospital. Within hours, he posted on social media that the baby had arrived.

“It was a great day, bro. I got three prizes today. My wife, my son and the Super Bowl,” he said in an Instagram Live, according to TODAY.

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