'This was so much bigger than football': Sick child in Clay Co. fulfills wish of scoring touchdown

'This was so much bigger than football': Sick child in Clay Co. fulfills wish of scoring touchdown

KEYSTONE HEIGHTS, Fla. — There was a touchdown Sunday in Keystone Heights that was so much bigger than the sport of football.

"How did that touchdown feel?" Action News Jax asked Austin Booth, 12, on Monday. "Awesome!" he said.

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Austin's number is 13. Not only does he wear it on the football field, but he'll be 13 in -- get this -- 13 days.

For some, it's an unlucky number.

One could say Austin got an unlucky deal.

"One day, before he's 40 or 50, he won't bury me. I'll bury him," Austin's mother, Angelia Booth, said. "It breaks my heart."

Austin was born with congenital heart disease. His mother said he has heart failure and cannot have a transplant.

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​​​​​"Unfortunately, whenever the Lord calls him home, the Lord calls him home, and there's nothing that we can do about it," Booth said.

"I think about it every day," she said. "And there's something that is not replaceable with that. But what do you do? If he can wake up every day and know that it could be his last, the least that I can do is be happy and be positive."

Booth knew her son's one wish was to score a touchdown.

"This was so much bigger than football," Booth said.

On Sunday, coaches at the Keystone Heights Youth Football Association made it happen.

Austin got carried out onto the field by a teammate.

Then, before halftime, he entered the game with one thing in mind.

With the help of a teammate, Austin was off! Even the opposing team, Argyle Forest, cheered him as he made his way to the end zone.

"They were running the touchdown with him and it was just amazing," Booth said.

Austin didn't just score a touchdown, he stood up to a disease, and showed us all it will never win.

"He can't make it far at all, about 100 feet, he's out of breath," Booth said.  "And they carried him across the field like it was nothing.  He just smiled like there was no tomorrow.  And I loved it."

"Can that play be stopped?" Action News Jax asked Austin.

"No, because I'm too savage," Austin said.

Austin knows the number 13 isn't lucky or unlucky. It's just his, just like that moment Sunday.

Angelia Booth said one of the coaches who took the time to organize this, Jason Parameter, has a wife, Cristin, who has muscle cancer.

Booth said she wants his family to know she's grateful and hopes Cristin gets well.

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