A boxing-mad hospital patient had a day to remember when a former world champion fighter paid him a visit.
Dino Price, aged 10, from Lodge Moor, came face-to-face with Johnny Nelson at Sheffield Children’s Hospital, where they spent time chatting about their favourite sport.
The youngster suffers from Takayasu Arteritis, a rare condition which causes a dangerous inflammation of his aorta and arteries.
The illness leaves him at risk of collapsing, developing blood clots or having a heart attack.
The boy’s own dreams of becoming a boxer were shattered following the diagnosis, as the incurable condition severely limits the type of exercise he can do.
Dino met the ex-World Boxing Organisation cruiserweight champion in the physiotherapy gym which he attends for regular rehabilitation sessions.
He then showed Johnny around the hospital’s research and medical treatment lounge, where he spends up to six hours a day, three times a week, receiving medication.
Dino has to take up to 50 pills every day, and underwent heart surgery earlier this year. He has also needed chemotherapy to control inflammation.
The young patient, once a regular at Glyn Rhodes’ Sheffield Boxing Centre in Hillsborough, said: “I love my boxing and the worst thing was having to give it up when I got my diagnosis.
“It’s been great to meet Johnny and hear what it’s like to be the champion of the world.”
Johnny, who grew up in Upperthorpe, close to the children’s hospital, said: “When I was Dino’s age I was scared of everything, but Dino is the complete opposite. He’s got such confidence and a fantastic attitude to life.
“It was totally humbling to meet him and hear his story.”
The boxer has now invited Dino and his family for a VIP tour of the Sky TV studios, where Johnny works as a presenter.
Johnny’s visit was arranged by Ollie Ward, Dino’s physiotherapist at the hospital.