Samuel L. Jackson, Chris Hemsworth, Brie Larson and Mark Ruffalo have joined fellow Marvel actor Ryan Reynolds in sending well-wishes to a young fan who is recovering from open-heart surgery.
Ivan Hollingsworth's son Seb, aged 13, came round from open-heart surgery at Newcastle's Freeman Hospital last week to discover he had received a video message from Ryan Reynolds. The Hollywood star, who plays Marvel superhero Deadpool, sent a personalised message to Seb after Ivan posted on social media about his son's surgery.
In his video message, Mr Reynolds told Seb he was "doing amazing" and he was "super proud" of him after spotting Ivan's post on Twitter which asked if any Marvel Studio superheroes could send a message to his son who was undergoing surgery to help improve his heart function.
Both Seb and Ivan were amazed to see a response from Mr Reynolds. But the pair were in for a further surprise when they discovered that Samuel L. Jackson, Chris Hemsworth, Brie Larson and Mark Ruffalo have also sent well-wishes to Seb.
Ivan, from Whitley Bay, said: "Getting those messages is really nice.
"Seb's had some days where he's been really flat since he got home and I think he goes back to having the scar. There's a real emotional adjustment that has to take place with having a scar like that.
"It's felt like a bit of an emotional rollercoaster these last few days. We've gone back and reminded him of what these people who he looks up to are saying, these icons and heroes, and that does help him, so he's buzzing with the messages."
Seb was born with a congenital heart condition and underwent lifesaving surgery at just 16 weeks old. He had further surgery on Monday, July 11, with the same doctor, Mr Asif Hasan, carrying out the procedure.
Seb was able to return home on Friday, July 15, to continue his recovery. And it was in the hours that followed that Ivan spotted the additional well-wishes sent to Seb, which he missed at first as his Twitter account was not tagged in the responses.
Mark Ruffalo, who plays the Hulk said: "I think we have some competition for the strongest Avenger, @chrishemsworth. Get well soon, Seb!" To which Chris Hemsworth, who plays Thor, replied: "The strongest Avenger by far. You are my heart hero, Seb. #HeartHeroSeb"
Samuel L. Jackson, who plays Nick Fury, also send his well-wishes. He said: "Assemble!! Speedy recovery wishes."
Brie Larson, who plays Captain Marvel, also replied. She said: "Seb, welcome to The Avengers [love] Captain Marvel."
Ivan, 47, said: "To know that Seb is getting these messages is lovely. But there's also a much bigger, broader positive impact that this is having.
"There's a chance teenagers will look at a scar as a point of difference rather than a point of making you remarkable, so having Deadpool, Thor and The Hulk say stuff such as 'well done', 'you're cool', 'you have my respect', it's important for Seb and anyone else going through the same thing as him.
"I think Ryan Reynolds' quote was 'that scar is street cred for life' and I can't tell you how huge that it for other teenagers who've either been through what Seb has been through or have got to go through it."
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