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Culture

Gritty's hospital visit with a 7-year-old fan is beautiful and wholesome

The mascot of the National Hockey League's Philadelphia Flyers has a big heart -- and a mug on a prosthetic leg.

When a 7-year-old in hospital asks for something, you give it to him. If that something happens to be orange nightmare fuel, you still give it to him. That fuel in question is Gritty, the hairy, googly eyed mascot of the Philadelphia Flyers in the National Hockey League. He's also, in many ways a treasure of the internet. CNN has documented a rare Gritty appearance off the ice, at Shriners Hospital for Children in Philadelphia on Tuesday.

There, Gritty and two Flyers cheerleaders, paid a surprise visit to Caiden O'Rourke, who as a result of two rare conditions has suffered the amputation of his lower right leg. A double amputee suffering a bone deformity, O'Rourke regularly requires new prosthetics. He requests them to be adorned with the colors and logos of his local favorite teams, according to CNN, and his latest design involved of course a big orange hairy monster.

After O'Rouke was fitted with the custom prosthetic, Gritty himself appeared and a moment beautiful and wholesome was captured. This may surprise those initially skeptical of the mascot whose wild-eyed mug debuted last September for a team that had been mascotless since the '70s. Aren't they glad they took a chance on their furry, left-field chum.