Jose Goncalves is a big man with an even bigger heart.
The New England Revolution defender was back in Scotland recently to visit an old friend from his playing days with Hearts, and to see the stocked "garden hut" he helped build for young Adam Cusack. Darren Johnstone's feature on UK website Deadline. has the full story.
Adam suffered from meningitis at the age of three, and now has severe epilepsy that can cause him to have seizures five times a day. The house stocked with soccer and rugby memorabilia also has internet, an XBOX and its own heating system and cost about $5,000 dollars to build. Not that the 2013 MLS defender of the year cared about the cost.
"I saw an opportunity to make a kid smile, someone I know very well and I didn't hesitate to make this present, said Goncalves in the Deadline. article. "This isn't something I have to think twice about. It's something important to me and his family too. When something like this comes up, there's no question I'm going to help out.
Goncalves has known Adam's father Frankie since his playing days with Hearts from 2006 to 2010. Frankie described the difficulty of monitoring Adam and the hardships the youngster faces from not being able to travel too far from home in case he suffers a seizure. While visiting the family, Goncalves witnessed Adam have three seizures out of five he suffered in just one day, prompting the player to suggest a brilliant idea.
"I was talking to Jose about it one night and [Jose] said, ‘what about we make somewhere safe for him'. And Jose being the kind guy that he is, said he would take care of everything," said Frankie. "Adam is over the moon about it, it's somewhere for him, his brother and his friends to hang out."
The article also mentions that Adam has helped raise over 80,000 pounds (just under $120,000) for the Edinburgh Sick Kids Hospital and Goncalves gushed about his love of the city from his playing days as well.
Congrats to Adam on his new hut and Jose for making it happen.