Dustin Dowdy is trying to track down the man that helped keep him from missing the experience of a lifetime.
Dowdy, a lifelong Auburn fan, and his wife Nicole, a recent Auburn convert, were in University of Phoenix stadium to watch the Tigers play for the national championship last week. They’d crossed the country, paid the money, dreamed the dreams. Then, disaster.
When Dowdy went to high five a fellow Auburn fan during the first quarter, he slipped on the seat front of him (which was slick with spilled beer), fell forward, face planted onto the stadium steps, and was knocked unconscious.
“Nicole was terrified and was afraid to move me,” Dowdy said. “Jeff [a friend and co-worker] and another Auburn fan carried me up the stairs with blood streaming down my face and the Oregon fans summoned EMTs. I was taken by stretcher to the care center under the stands.”
And then he was taken to the emergency room.
Determined to get her husband back to the game, Nicole begged the doctors to speed through a CT scan and the stitches he needed over his right eye. Somehow, the couple made it in and out of the hospital in just one hour.
Dowdy still can’t believe it — not just the timing, but Nicole’s dedication.
“I don’t even remember the cab ride back,” he says. “And that’s what amazed me so much. I never asked to go back. That was her decision.”
But whether they would get back inside the stadium was someone else’s: official policy said no re-admittance. After a thorough explanation and hefty does of passionate pleading, they were back in Sec. 103 with 12 minutes to go in the game.
Dowdy was able to see Auburn’s final drive —at least through his one good eye. He saw Byrum’s kick, he saw the confetti fly. And when he and Nicole posed for a photo with the field in the background, they spotted the stranger who had helped carry him up the stadium stairs.
“Hold on, we’ve got to have this man,” Dowdy’s friend can be heard saying in the video accidentally recorded by the Oregon fans gracious enough to take – or at least attempt to take – a photo of the group with the Dowdy’s cell phone. He points to someone off camera. “Yes, we do,” Nicole says.
They got the man to come down for the picture. They just never got his name.
Dowdy hopes getting his story out there will help him track down his Good Samaritan so he can thank him. Again. “And,” he says, “I have two tickets for the game of his choice for next season.”
Here’s hoping it’s another post-season match up you rush back from the hospital for.
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