Loving can heal!
Ed Sheeran gave one young fan the surprise of a lifetime last week when he visited her at Epsom Hospital in Surrey, England, last week.
Melody Driscoll, 9, suffers from Rett syndrome, a neurological disorder that causes problems in brain function. Because of the disorder, Melody cannot walk or talk, and wasn’t expected to live past age 4, her mother, Karina Driscoll, tells PEOPLE.
Over a year ago, Karina says, Melody heard Sheeran’s music for the first time and fell in love. Realizing the connection her daughter felt to the British star, Karina started a YouTube campaign for him to visit. Soon after, though, Sheeran took a social media hiatus.
“Our local police then came on board our campaign and everyone was tweeting and sharing it,” Karina says. “Then I was contacted by Ed’s manager, who said he would make it happen.”
Karina tells PEOPLE that Melody — who spends 80 percent of her time in the hospital — was “so star struck” at first, that she “didn’t believe it was [Sheeran].” In fact, the 25-year-old had to show off his tattoos as proof.
“Then when he was singing to her, that was it she knew he was the real deal and was the happiest I have ever, ever seen her in her entire life,” Karina says.
In the video shared to Melody’s Facebook page, Sheeran can be seen singing his hit single “Photograph.”
Karina gushed about Sheeran’s graciousness in a thank you letter also posted to Facebook, writing, “I was so impressed that you came into the ward on your own, no management, no security, no publicity, nothing. Just you.”
“That meant so much to us all,” she added. “It showed that you weren’t doing it for publicity, you were doing it for Melody. You were amazing with her. You treated her normally. It’s amazing the amount of people who don’t think she can understand anything because she can’t talk so they treat her like a baby. But you saw through all that and saw Melody for who she truly is. An amazing little girl who deserves the world. A true princess.”