Luke Siegel, friend of former New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees, dies at 15

METAIRIE, La. -- Drew Brees, Patrick Mahomes and the New Orleans Saints are among those who have shared their condolences after Saints fan Luke Siegel died Thursday at the age of 15.

Brees befriended Siegel and his family in 2015 after Siegel suffered devastating head and chest injuries in a golf cart crash. Siegel's family shared the news of his death on Facebook after saying he had been hospitalized "with bilateral infiltrates, consistent with Covid pneumonia."

"My heart is very heavy today after hearing of the passing of my friend Luke Siegel," Brees posted on Instagram. "Luke inspired us all in the way he fought to overcome a devastating brain injury. He was a little boy who loved sports, loved his family, and loved his Saints. Luke, you will forever be in our hearts, and we will always be on #TeamLuke!"

Mahomes also shared a message on social media, saying "RIP Luke. The impact you made in my life will never be forgotten!"

Over the years, Siegel and his family were invited to attend Saints games and practices, in addition to regular visits and messages from Brees.

"It's incredible," Siegel's father, Tim, told ESPN for a story on him last year. "Next to therapists and nurses, Drew Brees is the most important person in Luke's life."