Nine-year-old Melody Driscoll is such a big fan of Ed Sheeran, her family refers to him as her Prince Charming.
She was diagnosed with a rare neurological disorder called Rett syndrome when she was born. Melody can’t walk or talk, though she understands everything. She’s spent about 80 percent of her life in hospital, undergoing over 40 operations. Doctors thought she would only live until the age of 4, but Melody is due to turn 10 in December.
The British girl’s mother, Karina Driscoll, who runs a Facebook page in her daughter’s name, told The Huffington Post that although Melody lives in chronic pain, she manages to smile every day. “She is a living miracle,” she said.
Melody’s family credits Ed Sheeran’s music for lifting her spirits and inspiring her to keep fighting. Now, the musician has made Melody’s dreams come true with a special performance at her hospital bedside in southeast England. And she can’t stop beaming.
“Melody has loved Ed and been a fan since ‘Thinking Out Loud’ came out,” Driscoll said. The mom explained that watching Sheeran perform never fails to cheer her up.
“One of the times Melody was in severe pain, Ed managed to pull her out of that pain episode,” she said. “So now every time she’s in pain we have to put Ed’s videos on our phones ― the nurses do this, too.”
“So many times I nearly lost her because she was giving up but as soon as we put you on Melody would start fighting back,” Driscoll wrote to Sheeran on her daughter’s Facebook page. “This is what I mean when I say that I literally owe you her life. You literally keep her alive. She fights to stay in this crazy world just because of you.”
Driscoll began campaigning over a year ago to get Sheeran to visit Melody. “The older Melody is becoming the worse medically she is becoming,” Driscoll told HuffPost. “A friend made a video of Melody’s story which everyone was sharing in hopes that Ed would see it, but shortly after he went on his social media break and never got to see it.”
Eventually, a local police station began supporting the cause. When the video went viral, Sheeran’s manager contacted Driscoll, and the musician appeared at Melody’s bedside at Epsom Hospital in Surrey on Nov. 9.
“She was starstruck at first, she didn’t believe it was him so he let her stroke his tattoo to prove he was the real deal,” Driscoll recalled. Sheeran performed his hit songs, “Thinking Out Loud” and “Photograph” for Melody on a little pink guitar.
“Her eyes lit up and she started dancing, and smiling and giggling at him,” the mom said. “Normally Melody self harms but she didn’t hurt herself once it was amazing. She can hurt others too when she’s in pain but she was so so gentle with him. All he got was kisses, cuddles, smiles, giggles.”
Sheeran has made headlines surprising fans in the past, but he was so moved by his visit with Melody that he told Driscoll he’d like to keep in touch. He’s even invited her to a soundcheck to experience one of his concerts in a safe environment.
“Melody is still on cloud nine,” Driscoll wrote of the experience. “Whenever Ed’s name is mentioned she starts smiling and giggling and tapping our phones so we can play the videos of her with him to her. She then starts kissing the phone. It’s so sweet.”