Baltimore Ravens All-Pro linebacker Ray Lewis knew 10-year-old La'Shaun Armstrong could use a helping hand.
Armstrong was left alone after his mother, 25-year-old Lashanda Armstrong, drove her van and four children into the Hudson River in Newburgh, N.Y. on April 12, killing all but La'Shaun.
La'Shaun escaped through a van window and was rescued by a diver who saw him in distress in the waters.
"We are human and to hear that story ... as soon as I heard it, I was like, 'I need to find him.' Nobody is supposed to walk through life alone with that, especially being 10 years old," Lewis told the New York Daily News on Tuesday at the Chelsea Piers Bowling Complex, where the 12-time Pro Bowl player met with La'Shaun and his grandmother Datrice Armstrong and great-uncle, Cedric Armstrong as part of a United Athletes Foundation charity event.
Lewis spent time with La'Shaun, teaching him to bowl in an effort to take his mind off the passing of his mother and three half-siblings, ages 5, 2 and 11 months.
Lewis, a veteran of 15 NFL seasons with the Ravens, told the newspaper that stepping into the boy's life for just a moment wouldn't do him justice.
"Probably in his lonely times, you know that he's going to think about it. He's going to miss his mom, his other family members. Like I told his grandmother, I don't want to come into his life for a phase. I want to be in his life forever," Lewis said.