INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Peyton Manning’s induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame is just days away and the star quarterback has a resume that speaks for itself — five-time MVP, 14-time Pro Bowl selection, seven-time first-team All-Pro selection and two Super Bowls.
But Manning’s legacy is much more than his 18-year career in football.
The everlasting footprint he left on the city of Indianapolis is found at Ditch Road and 86th Street — Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital. Since the hospital was renamed in 2007, the money Manning has donated has helped countless children and their families, including baby Clay Schramsky.
Clay was born at Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital in May 2014 with his organs outside of his body and his intestines in his chest. His chance of survival was just 35%.
“The outlook was not great,” his mother Sheena Schramsky said. “The hospital came together, worked as a team, and they figured it out for him.”
The hospital’s efforts gave Clay a chance at life. Now, at 7 years old, Clay loves the horseshoe because of the hope Manning gave the Schramsky family.
“I am not confident that we would have Clay with us today if Peyton hadn’t donated so much to the hospital,” Sheena said. “It’s just pretty much amazing to think that we have come this far.”
Clay’s father Adam felt so indebted to the hospital staff for the support his family received that it inclined him to reach out to the man that played a part in saving his child’s life. The letter addressed to Manning reads in part:
“Although you will always be known for your football accomplishments, your true legacy will be that you gave so many children a chance at life.”
While Manning will become forever enshrined in Canton, Ohio, alongside football legends this weekend, he said the greatest form of teamwork he’s ever witnessed was watching these doctors and nurses get kids like Clay healthy.
“I think the nice thing about going into the Pro Football Hall of Fame is you go in and you take a lot of people with you, you take a lot of teams with you. You don’t go in by yourself,” Manning said. “So, for me, taking Louisiana, Indiana, Tennessee, Colorado, all those people with me. That’s important to me.”