It's not unusual for New Orleans Saints linebacker Demario Davis to refer to his faith during an interview, even as he talks about football.
But Sunday, after the Saints' season-opening, 16-15 victory over Tennessee in the Caesars Superdome, was different. Because Davis, an All-Pro whose work ethic and meticulousness are as renowned as his ability to play every down, didn't talk about the game at all.
On Friday, while his 4-year-old daughter was playing with friends at the house, she suffered her third epileptic seizure. It was her worst seizure. The same daughter successfully has fought off Retinoblastoma and has been totally cleared, and hadn't had a seizure in almost two years. If she'd made it another month without a seizure, she would have been taken off her medication but because she seized, the clock restarts.
She seized for 30 minutes, paramedics were called and Davis' wife, Tamela, rode with his daughter and the paramedics to the hospital while he trailed in another vehicle. Davis said Tamela informed him that twice during transport, his daughter stopped breathing.
So Sunday, Davis opened his postgame press conference not with a rundown of how well the defense played and his game-high contribution of 10 tackles, but with a scripture reading from Revelations 3:20, which reads: Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
"At this point if she's seized for 30 minutes, you start to fear there could be development issues that could mess with her brain," Davis said. "She stopped breathing, if there's no oxygen going to her brain, you're starting to think about will her speech be slurred, or anything. Or worse.
"So we prayed and we prayed and she had medicine, and my wife and I had to stay overnight at the hospital. And in the middle of the night, probably about 3 o'clock, I heard a knock. And the knock was my daughter. I said, 'God, let this be just be an attack from the enemy that's just trying to be a distraction, and let him have overplayed his hand and my daughter come back stronger than before.'
"When I heard my daughter talk in the middle of the night – and my daughter, she doesn't have any development issues, she doesn't have any slurred speech prior to this – she woke up talking clearer than she was talking before."
Davis said that generally, a person who has had an epileptic seizure needs a few days to bounce back to normal.
"We heard her talk and we let her talk for about 20 minutes and we said, 'Baby, it's night time, let's go back to sleep.' I just prayed, I started saying, 'Praise God, Praise God.'
"The next morning when she got up, my daughter was so sharp. She was able to talk to me and her mom. No stuttering, all her words clear. And if any of you were able to have a conversation with my daughter, you wouldn't know anything had ever happened.
"So we had birthday party for my 7-year-old daughter that day. She got to be released from the hospital and she got to come back home. And it was if nothing was happening. She was playing with the kids the day before, and she had the worst seizure that she had ever had, and the next day she's back out there playing with the kids. Now, of course, we can't let her get over-stimulated.
"But when I tell you I got a chance to hear a knock from God. And what I want to share is, we get to play this game and it's great. And it's so many amazing things that can happen in that game. And everybody wants to hear about them.
"But when we leave this game we go back to being regular people. And regular people are living life, and people are waiting for a knock. And the Word says who Jesus is, He's knocking at the door. All you've got to do is get up. And so on the way, I'm nervous, but I'm praying, and I'm trusting, and I'm believing. And I'm not asking for my daughter to make it through, I'm asking that she's better than before.
"And God gave me just what I asked for, plus some. I was blown away. And at that point, I knew the game was going to take care of itself. My knock had already been answered, and I just want people to know if you've got stuff going on in your life, lay it before the Lord. Lay it before the Lord and trust. And be expecting of a knock. Because the word says what you have to do is, you have to get up and open the door. And your blessing is going to be there."
Head inside the New Orleans Saints locker room postgame after the Saints' win against the Tennessee Titans in Week 1 of the 2023 NFL season presented by Bud Light.