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Falcons surprise boy who lost mother, grandmother and sister in fire with Super Bowl tickets

Taeden Johnson was the lone person inside to escape the immensely tragic house fire in Athens on Jan. 27.

ATHENS, Ga. — A young Athens boy who lost his mother, grandmother and sister in a tragic house fire last week is being given a lift by the Falcons.

The community has rallied since the Jan. 27 fire around 12-year-old Taeden Johnson, whose mentor Zac Hendrix helped raise more than $200,000 for his future through a GoFundMe campaign.

Falcons receiver Harry Douglas helped raise awareness for the GoFundMe, and now the team is getting involved again with Taeden - by giving him two tickets to the Super Bowl tomorrow in Tampa.

RELATED: Child loses mother, grandmother, sister in fire: Family friend rallies online community to help

The team's star defensive tackle Grady Jarrett surprised Taeden this week with the tickets. 

A big football and Falcons fan who said he wants to play in the NFL someday himself, Taeden's never before had the chance to attend a game in person. His first will now be the biggest game of them all.

"After hearing his story, Jarrett – with the help of the NFL – surprised Johnson via Zoom with two tickets to Sunday’s Super Bowl, as well as to encourage him to work hard, get good grades and believe in himself to achieve his NFL dream. The NFL is providing the tickets, while the Atlanta Falcons are providing transportation and hotel accommodations for Johnson," the Falcons said in a release.

11Alive's Jon Shirek spoke last week with Hendrix about how Taeden is doing.

“I’m grieving with him, we’ve cried this whole week with his family," he said. "Each day that I’ve been with him, the past two or three days since the tragedy, he is like, ‘Zac, can I just talk to you about what happened,’ like he is just wanting to release it.”

The outpouring of support for Taeden, he said, has been overwhelming.

"I didn't expect that," Hendrix said of how much money has already been raised. "But my God is big. I didn't know what the number would be but God gives, He has the ability to make anything His number."  

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