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5-Year-Old Excited To Throw Catfish On Ice In Game 5

Posted at 6:12 PM, May 05, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-05 19:23:42-04

Imagine going through three open heart surgeries and receiving a new heart all before your 6th birthday.
That's the case for one of the Nashville Predators' biggest fans.

Usually, kids don't play hockey in the house, but 5-year-old Caleb Daniel's parents make a special exception for him and his siblings.

"Caleb was born with a congenital heart defect, hypoplastic left heart syndrome," said Ashley Daniel, Caleb's mother.

Since birth, Caleb has went through three open heart surgeries to live with half a heart. Being so young, the toddler was not recovering and was in desperate need of a heart transplant.

"Around this time last year was when we got the news and were in the hospital during the play off run," said Daniel.

Caleb got his new heart, but in that long road to recovery, the Nashville Predators helped keep his spirits high.

"The circle started with the Predators and their visits to the hospital," said Daniel.

Not only will Caleb get to see the Preds take on the Jets in Game 5, but he's going to take part in a Predators' tradition.

"To throw the catfish on the ice," said Caleb.

Before each of his surgeries, Caleb had a tradition of his own. The brave toddler would shout, "Game on!"

Saturday night, he will get to shout it to cheer on his team.

"When you see the 3-year-old, 4-year-old, 5-year-old child that's in the hospital bed laying there, but yet he's smiling, then we know we can get through our struggles," said Daniel.

Caleb still has weekly appointments at Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt, but he's does it all with a smile, hoping to encourage others.

"Since he's been born, we prayed for something big to come from Caleb's life," said Daniel.

So far, it looks like Caleb's right on track.