Almost two months after the death of his newborn daughter, NFL player Jermon Bushrod was named the winner of an annual accolade given to an NFL player who has persevered through a difficult time.
“In a vote by his teammates, New Orleans Saints T[ackle] Jermon Bushrod has been named the Saints’ 2018 Ed Block Courage Award winner, which is given annually to a player from each National Football League team who has persevered through adversity,” the Saints wrote on their official Instagram account Friday, alongside a photo of Bushrod with his late week-old daughter, Jordyn Lynn.
In the image, the NFL player, 34, tenderly kisses his baby girl’s foot in the hospital.
“Bushrod’s teammates voted him as the club’s winner based on their respect and admiration for his persistence through an extremely difficult time for him and his family,” the football team added. “The 12-year NFL veteran and his wife Jessica, lost their daughter Jordyn Lynn Bushrod on October 18, days after she was born.”
“Despite the tragic events that have affected Bushrod and his family, Bushrod has been there for his teammates as well as them being here for him,” the sweet note concluded.
Following the injury of one of his teammates last month, Bushrod has been a part of the team’s starting lineup, helping the Saints win four out of their last five games and clinch their second NFC South title in a row.
Responding to the news, Bushrod shared that while “this has been one of the toughest times for myself and my family,” he also “felt it was important to be here for my teammates.”
“The love and support of my teammates, their significant others and the entire Saints organization the last couple months has been very important in helping our family deal with and work through the best we can the traumatic loss of our daughter,” he added.
Announcing the death of his week-old baby in October, Bushrod wrote a heartbreaking message on social media, alongside two photographs of Jordyn. One image showed her small hand wrapped around a finger, while another pictured the baby resting on her father’s chest.
“My heart has been broken. My baby girl Jordyn Lynn Bushrod passed away Thursday, October 18th,” the grieving father wrote on Twitter.
“She was only here for a week but we were ready to love her unconditionally,” he added. “We will get through this with faith, family and friends. Thanks for prayers and support.”
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SOURCE: PEOPLE, Maria Pasquini