5-year-old heart transplant recipient throws catfish on the ice - WSMV News 4

5-year-old heart transplant recipient throws catfish on the ice

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A young Predators fan got to live out his dream of throwing a catfish on the ice at Saturday's playoff game against Winnipeg.

Caleb Daniel spent six months at Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt last year. After three open heart surgeries by the age of four, he received a heart transplant.

Now, he's fulfilling his wish to take part in a Preds tradition.

“This is what this guy lives for. He lives and breathes Predators. What he wants to do is play hockey," explained Caleb's father, Zack.

Pekka Rinne and Mike Fisher visited Caleb while he was in the hospital.

Caleb's mother, Ashley, says her son was born with half a heart. But now, he has the heart of a champion. 

“This guy is our hero, and the really special part of this is the awareness this is spreading about congenital heart defects,” she said.

As for getting the catfish inside Bridgestone Arena, they had the help of an expert -- Tom Dennis.

“We just sort of strapped it on [Zack] in the Hilton parking garage. We do the sweatshirt [over the shoulders] to kind of conceal the bump on the back, and make our way through security,” Dennis said. 

The catfish was a 12-pounder. With a group throw, Caleb got his fish on the ice early in the first period.

Ashley said, “He's been practicing for a while now. Last night, he stayed up late getting his arm stretched out and ready to go.”

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