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Ryan Fitzpatrick sends well wishes, jersey to Jacksonville shooting survivor

Ryan Fitzpatrick completed 21 of 28 passes without an interception and also ran for a short touchdown in the Bucs' win at New Orleans in Week 1. AP Photo/Bill Feig

TAMPA, Fla. -- There is one person who is not surprised by Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick going "Fitz-magic" on the New Orleans Saints in Week 1, and his name is George Amadeo.

Amadeo is a gamer and a survivor of the Jacksonville, Florida, "Madden NFL 19" tournament shooting on Aug. 26, and he has experienced some of his own "Fitz-magic."

Recovering in the hospital from a gunshot wound to his foot and ankle area, Amadeo received a special 18th birthday surprise when Fitzpatrick called to wish him well on his big day on Aug. 29.

Amadeo is a New York Jets fan from Middletown, New Jersey. He said he became a fan of Fitzpatrick's while the quarterback was in his first year with the Jets in 2015 and has followed him ever since, even using the gamer tag "FitzMagic13."

"Ryan's a stand-up guy," Amadeo said. "I didn't expect anything like that to happen."

Fitzpatrick then sent him an autographed jersey with a message: "Happy 18th Bday George!! Get well soon and keep up that FITZMAGIC."

"It was totally unexpected and brightened my spirits during a very dark time," said Amadeo, who is now out of the hospital.

When asked during Buccaneers availability this week, Fitzpatrick wouldn't reveal how he tracked down Amadeo, only flashing a big smile knowing that he was able to lift Amadeo's spirits.

"That's just who Ryan is as a person. Just him going above and beyond there for that kid -- it's just awesome," tight end Cameron Brate said. "It's a tragedy. A horrible thing that happened. Fitz is just an unbelievable teammate and an unbelievable guy to be around. We're all thankful we have him here as a teammate and as a friend."

Added tight end Alan Cross: "That just goes to show what type of guy he is. He just wants to make people smile, brighten people's days. ... Behind the scenes, beyond football, he's a good guy with a good heart. He's a good leader for his kids. They really look up to him."

Amadeo does, too -- even more so now that they share a personal connection.

So, how does Amadeo rate his new pal Fitzpatrick's performance last week in a division win against the Saints?

"It was Fitz-magic," he said.