Fans surprise 8-year-old Golden Knights fan recovering after heart surgery

(Sunrise Hospital/Twitter)

After forming a special bond over the Golden Knights, fans came together to share their love and support for an 8-year-old boy recovering from heart surgery.

Sai Mendoza-Santiago was a stand-out at practices, carrying a sign that asked the Knights to win the Stanley Cup before his heart surgery. Sadly, that didn’t happen. But he made a lot of friends along the way.

On Sunday, he got some very special visitors, familiar faces from his Golden Knights family.

“Just to support him and say hi to him,” Logan Sokoloski, known as the Girl with the Hat, said.

“We brought him some hats, we brought him a dog, Bark-Andre!” Tanked star Brett Raymer said. “We brought some amazing gifts.”

The group wanted to surprise Sai so first, they asked his mom if he was up for visitors.

“I cried a little because I was just very thankful that the community has really come through in support of Sai,” Trina Langley said.

Langley said Sai faced a few complications after the third and latest open-heart surgery.

“He took a few laps around the unit floor, he ate his first meal since Wednesday,” she said. “It seems he's finally on the mends to his full recovery.”

This was also the first time Sai smiled in a couple days. Trina said it’s been the team and this fan base that have helped them get through this.

“It’s been a rough few days for our family,” she said. “And to just see everyone, I mean they've been on this journey with us for the last few months.”

Fans said this is simply what it means to be part of the Golden Knights community that has turned strangers into fans into family.

“I thought it was pretty cool to have all those people come visit me in the hospital,” Sai said.

“We associate with each other,” Trina said. “The Golden Knights have brought new friendships. I would've never thought that we'd have hundreds of people in a community praying for him.”

Sai is hoping to go home by Monday. Once he is healthy, he said he can’t wait to see his Golden Knights family again, and then of course, cheer on the Knights next season.

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