'Your Rams family is behind you!' LA Rams player Andrew Whitworth surprises superfan battling COVID-19 with virtual visit

An LA Rams superfan who has been hospitalized with COVID-19 gets his spirits lifted after a surprise virtual visit from player Andrew Whitworth.
Update: This story was first published in September 2020. Sadly, Paul Burciaga's family informs Eyewitness News that he lost his battle with COVID-19 and passed away in November.

Paul Burciaga has been a Rams fan practically his entire life. Now he is fighting for his life, in the ICU with COVID-19.

Rams lineman Andrew Whitworth went through his own COVID scare: he was infected, along with his entire family.

The pro football player may not be able to visit the hospital, but he still found a way to let Burciaga know he's pulling for him.

"He's a fighter. He's the strongest man I know," said Marina Burciaga, Paul's wife.

She says one particular day while her husband was sick, and she was feeling a bit down, she saw a notice on her ABC7 App asking for LA Rams superfans to share their stories. Marina didn't share the news with her husband.

"I kept telling him I have a surprise for you," said Marina. "When Andrew Whitworth got on the phone, he literally raised his head and he put up the Rams horns."

'I wish you the best, brother," Whitworth told Paul via video over the phone. "I wanted to come on here and just tell you we're praying for you and wishing for a quick recovery for you. All your Rams family is behind you."

"He knew instantly, and then he opens his eyes and then puts up the Rams horns, and then puts up the peace sign," said Marina.

Marina says it was a Godsend that it was Whitworth who made the phone call.

"He's had COVID. It was nice, he was understanding and compassionate," said Marina. "It was very gracious and I was grateful he was able to do that for my husband."

While the family is hoping Paul will be home soon to watch the Rams, he will be with his favorite team... in spirit and photo... for the team's home opener. The family has bought a cardboard cutout of Paul to sit in the stands at SoFi Stadium.
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