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Disabled kid gets to watch favorite soccer team after his intensive care bed was taken to the stadium

Tristan, a Hansa Rostock supporter, watched the final game of the season with the help of a special bed made by a local organization.

Disabled kid gets to watch favorite soccer team after his intensive care bed was taken to the stadium
Image source: Twitter/Copa90

Editor's note: This article was originally published on May 26, 2021. It has since been updated.

Fifteen-year-old Tristan was one among 7,500 fans at German soccer club Hansa Rostock's stadium last week. It was a huge moment for Tristan and his family. Tristan has a genetic defect and has been mentally disabled since birth. Doctors said it was even a miracle that he was still alive. His family friends had created a special bed just for Tristan so he could watch the final match of the season between his beloved Hansa and VfB Lübeck, reported NDR.de.



 

Tristan's mother couldn't contain her excitement as they reached the stadium. "I have to pull myself together so that I don't start crying. The fan community is just sooo great." And Tristan? I think he thinks it's pretty awesome too," said his mother prior to the game. "Now he's checking out how everything is going here. Of course, that's a lot of excitement because it's very loud. But I think it'll be a great experience."

Tristan has trouble communicating but his love for Hansa was evident. Julian Sturm-Schneider, a friend of Tristan, has been with him for three years. The pair followed Hansa Rostock's games on the radio or on television. Sturm-Schneider realized that changes in the facial expression of Tristan and the sounds he made during the games showed that he was a big fan of the football club. Tristan was really excited about the games. Sturm-Schneider and his mother wanted Tristan to experience the atmosphere in a stadium.



 

With the help of a local organization, Sturm-Schneider made a customized bed for Tristan, so he could go to the stadium, Ostseestadion. Helped by his mother, he got into the bed before being wheeled into the stadium. The customized bed was nicknamed the 'Hansa-Kogge.' The bed is complete with a ship's bow, a rope, and even a small mast with the Hansa flag raised on it. It took Sturm-Schneider three weeks to make the bed and even borrowed a few utensils from his son's nursery for it.

The fans stood up, applauded, and shouted his name as he made his way into the stands. Tristan's mother got emotional as fans in the stadium gave him a standing ovation. It was a crucial match with Hansa seeking promotion to the second division in the game against VfB Lübeck. As the game goes on, he moves his arms rhythmically to the music and roars in the stadium. As he continues lying down in his bed, watching the game, his mother holds his hands before eventually lying on the bed and supporting her son's weight against her body. "Because I noticed that Tristan is getting a bit restless and is very hyperextended. Then he needs some physical contact again," said his mother. "Now he feels safer again." 

She's ecstatic for him as the game goes on his team manages to win promotion to the second division. It's a joyous moment for them. "We made it," she said. He is moved to a special wheelchair and wheeled out shortly before the final whistle. Tristan is tired. "You can see it. But by and large, he enjoyed it. I'm very proud of him. It's great that it was implemented and that everyone played along," said his mother.



 

In his younger years, when the chips were down on him, it was his family and the carers from the Baltic Sea Intensive Care that played a huge role in motivating him to fight on. Now, the fans of Hansa have started a fundraiser for Tristan so they can get his mother a new, accessible car. 

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