Jessie Stoll wasn't supposed to live past the age of one. Now, the 20-year-old has spent her life in and out of the hospital. But one day spent there was made a little brighter thanks to words of positivity from Gargano.
Jessie has been at Children's Wisconsin since Nov. 4 battling serious infections at the pediatric intensive care unit, but she's no stranger to hospitals.
"I've lost track after 50 surgeries and this is the sixth time she's died and come back to life," says Kathy Stoll, Jessie's mom.
Jessie's primary care nurse knows how big a fan Jessie is of WWE wrestling -- an even bigger fan of Gargano, always holding his action figure close by.
"He goes to all the surgeries with her and all the MRIs," Kathy says. "He's with her."
So, Jessie's nurse contacted Gargano on Instagram in search of words of encouragement. Within two hours, Kathy says they had received a video from him.
"I know how hard you've been working, and I'm incredibly proud of you," Gargano says in the video.
Jessie's reaction said it all.
"She was in happy years after she watched it," Kathy says.
Gargano also sent Christmas gifts including a signed t-shirt, a signed poster and a pin.
Kathy says Jessie has watched the video every single day when she's awake and alert -- Gargano's words, obviously, meaning a lot to her.
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About a month ago @samantha_budnik reached out to me on here.. Samantha is a pediatric nurse in Wisconsin and showed me a video of a young girl in her ICU named Jessie. She informed me that Jessie is a big fan of mine and holds onto my action figure as a source of inspiration throughout her various physical therapy sessions. Watching the video of Jessie really touched my heart. I'm very on record of saying that I will always just view myself as a normal guy from Cleveland, Ohio.. no matter what I do. I'm just really lucky to have my dream job and a platform to make others happy. A responsibility that I take very seriously. Samantha asked if there was anything I could do for Jessie. I immediately went to the @wwepc and recorded a video for her sending her well wishes and also got together with our merch team to put together a big care package to send her. It was the least I could do.. A few days later I was sent a reaction video and pictures of her opening the gift. It filled my heart with much joy. THAT is the best part of my job. My intentions were never to share any of this.. I did this for Jessie and Jessie alone. Truth be told.. I figured this would never see the light of day. It took me 30 minutes to record the video and sign some merch. It was a small gesture solely to put a smile on a little girls face. Mission accomplished! Her family reached out and asked If I minded if they shared my video and her reaction. I told them that it was a gift and theirs to do with as they wanted. @childrenswi, @wwe, and various news outlets have talked about it already so this post is more of a reminder to myself and whoever else needs it.. Small gestures of kindness go a LONG way. The current climate of things (especially social media) is so absorbed with negativity and tearing people down that we forget we should use our power to help build others up. Please share love.. help others.. and above all else.. just be kind. You can make a difference. Thank you for letting me be a small part of your life, Jessie. Always remember.. YOU ARE SPECIAL. #BeYourself