When longtime New Orleans Saints linebacker and team captain Demario Davis approached the postgame press conference podium on Sunday, he had something far more important to talk about than his team’s 16-15 victory in Week 1 against the Tennessee Titans:
His daughter Carly-Faith. And his belief in Jesus Christ.
Davis told reporters that, on Friday, his 4-year-old daughter had suffered her third epileptic seizure, after nearly two years of being seizure-free. It was her worst one yet. For 30 minutes she seized, with paramedics arriving as she foamed at the mouth. On the way to the hospital in an ambulance with her mother, Tamela, Carly-Faith stopped breathing twice. In the car behind the ambulance was Demario, praying all the way.
“In the middle of the night (at the hospital), probably about 3 o’clock, I heard a knock,” Demario told the media. “The knock was my daughter. … She woke up talking clearer than she was talking before.”
"I didn't ask for my daughter to make it through, I'm asking that she's better than before… God gave me just what I was asking for plus some. I was blown away."
Demario Davis tells a beautiful story about his faith and family 💛 pic.twitter.com/H1puxwpJpy
— New Orleans Saints (@Saints) September 10, 2023
Carly-Faith was released from the hospital on Saturday, returned home to celebrate her sister’s seventh birthday and continue on with life as if nothing had happened.
The whole experience was like a “knock from God” for Demario, and he shared with the media what he’d learned.
“We get to play [football] and it’s great,” he said. “There’s so many amazing things that happened in that game, and everybody wants to hear about them, but when we leave this game, we go back to being regular people. Regular people are living life, and people are waiting for a knock. And the Word says who Jesus is, He’s knocking at the door. All you got to do is get up.
“So on the way (to the hospital), man, I’m nervous. But I’m praying and I’m trusting and I’m believing. And I’m not asking for my daughter to make it through, I’m asking that she’s better than before. God gave me just what I asked for, plus some. I was blown away. And at that point, I knew what the game was already. The game was gonna take care of itself.
“My knock had already been answered.”
He continued with his message of deep faith in Christ.
“I just want people to know, if you’ve got stuff going on in your life, lay it before the Lord,” he said. “Lay it before the Lord and trust and be expecting of a knock. The Word says what you have to do is you have to get up and open the door. He’s not going to open the door for you. He’s going to knock, but you have to be listening and waiting for the knock and when you see it, you have to get up and open the door and your blessing is going to be there.
“I’ll be here to talk about football next week. I wish y’all well, happy Sunday and praise God! Thank y’all.”
With that, he left the podium.
In addition to being one of the best linebackers in the NFL, Davis has also been one of the most outspoken followers of Christ in the league for years. A 2019 first-team All-Pro and second-team All-Pro from 2020-22, Davis has also devoted much of his time to using his platform to spread the Good News of Jesus.
Davis has never been shy about sharing his faith publicly, often posting about it on social media and even wearing a “Man of God” headband on the field during games.
But the steadfast love of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him, and his righteousness to children’s children, to those who keep his covenant and remember to do his commandments. pic.twitter.com/DHHGihzTyO
— Demario Davis (@demario__davis) August 8, 2023
When he saw such a testimony in his own life to God’s goodness and faithfulness, he couldn’t help but share it with any who would listen. The events that unfolded in the life of the Davis household this past week put into perspective what happened on the field on Sunday.
Of course, Davis is happy his team won. Of course, he’s happy he led his team with 10 total tackles despite his preparation being disrupted. But to be able to point people to the only One who can save — the only One who can give life — is his deepest joy of all.
Davis and his teammates will have an extra day to recover and prepare for Week 2, when they travel to Charlotte to take on the Carolina Panthers (0-1) on “Monday Night Football.” The divisional rivalry game is set for 7:15 p.m. ET.
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