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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (Oct. 12, 2015)– A Utah teen with a life-threatening heart condition had his Fighting Irish dream come true over the weekend.
Thanks to Notre Dame and Make-A-Wish, the 17-year-old was given exclusive access to all things Notre Dame football.
Jack Salmond was born with four profound heart defects that led him to have three open heart surgeries.
That didn’t come without complications though. That’s why this weekend hits home for Jack and his parents.
“Just sweet, just sweet. We’re just really grateful,” said Patty Salmond, Jack’s mom.
Jack developed his passion for the Fighting Irish when he was about ten years old.
“My brother-in-law went to school here at Notre Dame,” said Jack. “He just made me like Notre Dame.”
Thursday, Jack went behind-the-scenes, getting an all-access pass to the Joyce Center and Notre Dame Stadium.
“Jack was on the waiting list. He did not want to change, didn’t want to go to Disney World, he said, ‘Nope, I’m staying on the list and want to come next year,’” said Jennifer Laiber with Notre Dame’s internal communications department.
Reggie Brooks joined in on the tour, and even shared a few locker room secrets with Jack.
“It was really cool to have him here. When I first saw him, I was like, whoa, you’re still here?” said Jack. “It’s a great experience, I like it. I’ve always wanted to come here and be on the field.”
He had never been to a Notre Dame game before. He got to go Saturday’s game against Navy. The Irish won 41-24.
“He’s watched on his iPad, he watches pep rallies, he watches team meetings, he watches everything. So he’s excited to just be there,” said Patty.
Now, Jack is truly one of the Fighting Irish.