watt a relief

J.J. Watt inspires Santa Fe survivors' recoveries with surprise visits

J.J. Watt inspires Santa Fe survivors' recoveries with surprise visits

JJ Watt Man of the Year
Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images for Sports Illustrated

Although some of the Santa Fe shooting survivors are facing additional surgeries as they recover, they had 99 reasons to smile, thanks to Houston Texans star J.J. Watt.

The defensive end has spent the past day visiting survivors. That includes Chase Yarborough, one of the student's shot in the May 18 attack at Santa Fe High School. Yarborough's mother says Watt showed up to their home to comfort chase without any cameras or fanfare.

Watt's kindness was appreciated by family members and those in the community who aren't even fans of professional sports. "I'm not a football fan really, but yeah, I am a fan of his because of the way he respects people, basically," says Clear Lake resident Tiffany Davis.

Watt also stopped by Clear Lake Regional Medical Center to visit student Clay Horn. A picture from Horn's GoFundMe page shows his injured arm as he stands next to Watt. Horn could have more surgery Tuesday, May 22.

On Monday, May 21, Watt also visited with other families affected by the shooting and the staff taking care of those who were wounded.

Another student injured was Sarah Salazar, who will need several surgeries to recover from her injuries. Her aunt posted the picture Sarah took with Watt in the hospital.

"The fact that he wasn't seeking any sort of publicity shows what kind of a guy he is. That it was something he wanted to do for them, not for his benefit," says Clear Lake resident Tal Hammock. Family members of the teenagers said that Watt treated them like family, finding out how they were and making them smile.

Watt also announced May 18 that he would pay for the funerals of all the victims in the tragedy.


For more on the continuing Santa Fe story, visit our content partner ABC13