EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — Teddy Bridgewater's dream has come to life in the form of a book.
The Vikings quarterback, who overcame insurmountable odds to come back from a devastating knee injury suffered 16 months ago and return to NFL game action, was the inspiration for a recent children's book written by his girlfriend, Erika Cardona.
The book, titled Little Bear Teddy: Big Dream Come True highlights a young bear who doesn't give up on his dreams.
Cardona, who hadn't written a book before, told "Voice of the Vikings" Paul Allen that she hopes the book encourages children to follow their passions.
"I had the idea shortly before Teddy's injury," Cardona said. "But once he got injured, I needed something to keep me busy, so I went ahead and finished up with the story.
"It's just my hope that all children will realize that no matter how big [of] a dream it is [that they have], all dreams come true," Cardona added. "It's going to be a little bit about Teddy's dream of playing football. The bear is the football player. They have a few similarities."
Said Bridgewater: "It's amazing to watch her thoughts come to life. She has a sharp mind, and for her to put all this together in the span of a year, it's very impressive. It's awesome to watch all of her hard work and determination come to life."
Bridgewater never lost hope during his rehab process, and he believed in himself when he was a young boy in Miami with dreams of playing professional football.
The recently published children's book âLittle Bear Teddy: Big Dream Come Trueâ was inspired by Bridgewater and written by his girlfriend, Erika Cardona. To buy a cop of the book go to https://www.littlebearteddy.com/.
"It's a great feeling, knowing that your journey has been recognized. It's a great feeling, knowing this book will potentially end up in the hands of many children across the world. They get to see my dream come true, and hopefully one day this story can motivate them and influence them to have their big dream come true."
It is available for purchase at littlebearteddy.com, and can be autographed by either Bridgewater or Cardona, who said Bridgewater and the bear in the book have a lot in common.
"Little Bear Teddy is very calm, and so is [Bridgewater]," Cardona said. "Little Bear Teddy is also steady, and he works hard, he practices hard.
"It's shown that with hard work that your dreams can come to life, and that's what we've seen here today with Teddy, even as far as him making it back from a year ago [from his injury]," Cardona added.
Bridgewater also credited Cardona for helping him stay motivated in his recovery from an August 2016 injury that forced him to miss all of last season.
"She's been there when there were times I couldn't put my shoe on or I needed assistance doing the smaller things," Bridgewater said. "I'm just very appreciative that I could have someone like that in my corner supporting me when I was at my lowest.
"It's easy to be there for a person when they're at their highest point," Bridgewater said, "but you really see who's for you at your lowest point."
Bridgewater returned to the field for the first time since his injury this past Sunday in a division-clinching win over Cincinnati, playing nine snaps in the fourth quarter.
"It was just a great feeling. So many emotions … I made sure I kept them all under control," Bridgewater said. "The stadium, the fans, my teammates, the coaching staff, just everyone who played a role in me getting to this point … I'm thankful and I really appreciate them."
"I got the chills just walking onto the field, walking into the huddle, looking those guys in the eyes [and] calling the play," Bridgewater added.