“He was born dead.”
The opening statement in the NFL video featuring rookie Derick Hall who was signed by the Seattle Seahawks just a few weeks ago makes it clear: The story to follow is a miracle.
Stacy Gooden-Crandle, the mother of her baby born four months prematurely weighing only 2 pounds, one ounce, was told her child would be born without a heartbeat.
Barely five months pregnant, this young mother was given grim news by professionals who saw the 1% of life compared to the mountainous odds of death facing her child. Faced with signing documents to allow his demise upon birth or resuscitate the baby, Stacy said, “It was a battle…I had to fight every day for my son.”
The NFL 360 video entitled, Derick Hall’s Miracle Journey to the NFL, is now featured on YouTube. The 2-pound-1-ounce preemie who was thought to need special care for the rest of his life, is now the 6’3”-256-pound, twenty-two-year-old who just signed an “unprecedented contract” as a second-round draft pick of the Seattle Seahawks.
This talented Auburn University Tiger and star pass-rushing defensive player made history with the terms of his rookie contract getting almost all of his $3.629 million signing bonus prior to team camp and a base salary guarantee of $100,000 for the first three years to include injury and salary caps, which are terms typically given only first-round picks.
Derick Hall’s distinguished career at Auburn University as a defensive machine elevated him into the elite of the sport he first loved as a scrawny, small boy forced to take rest breaks to overcome asthma and his smaller stature is impressive. His talent, work ethic, and perseverance have almost guaranteed his bright future in the National Football League.
Derick’s heart, however, for family, his faith, and his community place him among the giants of men.
“She’s my superhero. She’s my Wonder Woman. She’s the person who kept me living,” Hall declares of his mom who signed him up for recreational football at age ??. Scenes from the feature also reveal family and close friends of the Gulfport, Mississippi community who encircled Derick Hall in prayer, in faith, and football.
Last year, a water crisis hit poor communities in Mississippi. Having been the recipient of the prayers, love, and support of his community, Derick Hall gave back. Using earnings from his collegiate NIL (Name, Image, Likeness) agreement as a college star, Hall paid for 5 tractor trailer loads of water, disaster relief kits, and response aid.
Derick Hall’s mother fought for him. His community stood alongside his mother in raising a high-needs child. That unconditional love was returned as a demonstration of one many had little faith to live or hope to have a future.
Derick’s grandmother observed that “Good things come out of something bad sometimes” as she pondered life without her grandson. Be inspired by Seattle Seahawks’ #58 and appreciate a mom, a family, and community who didn’t give up as you watch this star.