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The Two Words From a Child That Melted an NFL Player's Heart and Changed His Life

"There was a huge emptiness in my heart because I was living out of selfishness…"

Image: Screen capture -- ESPN

This might be the best story about an NFL player you will see this year, and it starts with two simple words.

Image: Screen capture - NewYorkJets.com Image: Screen capture - NewYorkJets.com

As sports channels and news networks focus on the latest spate of scandals popping up from the National Football League, a heartwarming story about the actions of five-year veteran wide receiver David Nelson is bubbling below the surface.

Two years ago, Nelson visited Haiti to assist the ongoing recovery efforts following the devastating earthquake that hit the island nation in 2010. As a volunteer, Nelson saw firsthand the lingering problems facing the people of Haiti, especially the children.

Image: imme.org Image: imme.org

In an interview with ESPN's Rick Reilly, Nelson shared the story of a finding a malnourished boy trapped in some steel rebar ruins. After he helped the child, Nelson told Reilly that he offered him food, candy, toys, etc. The boy rejected everything Nelson offered, until the football player asked him, "What do you want?" The child reportedly put his hands in the air and just said two words: "Hold me."

The 6-5-football player did just that. And he admits to crying, but he also called that experience, "the most beautiful five minutes of my life."

The event changed Nelson. He told Reilly, "There was a huge emptiness in my heart because I was living out of selfishness…I was living out of vanity, you know, money, fame … ."

It also inspired Nelson to do even more. 

He and his brother Patrick started I'm Me, a non-profit foundation to assist the estimated 500,000 orphans living in Haiti.

Fast forward to June of this year. The Nelsons received a phone called from a local Haitian alerting them to a dangerous situation involving five children in Port au Prince. The kids were said to be living in squalor and on the verge of death.

The caller was actually wrong. There were not five endangered kids, but nine. David, Patrick and some locals acted quickly, moving the kids into a three-bedroom home.

Image: Screen capture -- ESPN (Photo credit: ESPN screen shot)

For the next two weeks, Nelson lived in the house with the children, learning their names and, to hear him tell it, falling in love with them.

Image: Screen capture -- ESPN (Photo credit: ESPN screen shot)

With pre-season games fast approaching, David Nelson had to leave the children and return to his home in New Jersey. According to the ESPN story, he and his brother plan to adopt all nine children.

Watch Rick Reilly's entire piece from EPSN:

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Follow Mike Opelka (@Stuntbrain) on Twitter.

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