KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — A lifelong bond forged between rival fan bases in a viral moment caught the eyes of thousands at the Tennessee-Texas A&M game on Saturday.
But the moment wasn’t on the field, because it was in the stands. As the Vols and Aggies battled things out, die-hard Vols fans like Frankie Stewart were fired up. Stewart hasn’t missed a home game since he got his season tickets, despite being diagnosed with cancer in August.
As he was getting up to cheer a Vols score against Texas A&M, something happened – he lost feeling in his legs. That’s when something touching happened.
“So the two guys in front of us, I actually fell into them. They were Texas A&M fans. One of the guys put his arms around me and said, ‘Hey man do you believe in God?’ I said, ‘Yes sir,’ and he said, ‘I am too and I’m a firm believer in what he can do for you.’ I said, ‘I appreciate it, man,’ and he said, ‘Well if you don’t mind, I’m going to take the time and pray for you real quick.’ And it was very moving,” said Stewart.
After the game, Stewart said they went back home to Spartanburg, South Carolina, not even six hours later, he needed surgery on his spine. He said the surgeons cleaned out where the cancer was on his spine, but he will have to continue his treatments.
“I feel within the deepest part of my soul that they were put there for a reason. And they touched him and if it wasn’t for them, you know, he could be permanently paralyzed,” said Stewart’s wife, Kristen.
Stewart said that being at that football game may have very well saved his life. He hopes that he can be back in the stands by the time the Vols face Georgia.
He added that he has since connected with the Aggies fan who prayed over him and hopes to meet up again.