NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Sunday’s game between the Giants and 49ers was especially emotional for one player.
San Francisco wide receiver Marquise Goodwin scored a touchdown on an 83-yard pass just hours after his son was delivered stillborn.
“Imagine having something that you want more than anything in the world, and you get it, and it’s just stripped away from you,” Marquise told CBS2’s Dana Jacobson.
Marquise’s wife, Morgan, went into premature labor at 19 weeks Sunday morning.
“I would give my life up if I could have the boy,” Marquise said.
Despite his grief, hours later Marquise was playing in the 49ers’ game against the Giants — at Morgan’s insistence.
“It was actually Morgan’s idea that I go play in the game,” Marquise said. “For me, my intentions were to be with her the whole time.”
When asked why she wanted Marquise to play in the game, Morgan answered: “We had our baby boy. We spent time with him. I’m explaining to him, ‘I want you to play in this game because I want your son to see you play.'”
Marquise’s long touchdown helped San Francisco win its first game of the season.
“As I’m running, I just blow a kiss to God and to my baby, and I dropped down on my knees and give God his glory because I’m thankful,” Marquise said. “I still am thankful for the opportunity just to be alive, for my life.
“Even after all I’ve been through.”
Morgan said she watched the play from her hospital bed and started crying.
“I immediately said, ‘That was for you, baby,'” she said.
Only two 49ers teammates knew the pain Marquise was playing with. It wasn’t until the Goodwins’ social media posts after the game that the world was let in.
“We got some really supportive responses, especially a lot of women who have also been through the same exact thing — and not even once, but twice sometimes and three times,” Morgan said.
“A lot of people that I’ve never been in contact with have sent messages, have sent gifts and flowers and also told us that we’re inspiring them,” Marquise said.
The two college sweethearts met at the University of Texas at Austin, where they were both track stars.
“I knew when I met Morgan that she was the perfect girl because she was in college, she was an athlete, and we had the same morals and beliefs, and I knew that she would be a great mom,” Marquise said.
They’ll celebrate their second wedding anniversary in February. They credit their bond and their faith for carrying them through this difficult time.
“With faith, you can do anything, and with love, you can do even more,” Marquise said.