Sheffield United superfan Myah Dixon had a day to remember when she met her 'idol' Blades' captain Bill Sharp in hospital after being left unable to move or communicate.
Four-year-old Myah is recovering in Sheffield Children's Hospital after being diagnosed with Guillain-Barré syndrome, a condition which affects the nerves and left her paralysed.
After hearing about Myah’s illness on Facebook, Sheffield United arranged for her to be visited in the hospital by members of the United Women’s team before being surprised yet again by club captain Billy.
Myah’s dad Gavin, 34, and brother Josh, 10, were able to meet the players, too, making it even more special as the Dixon family have been lifelong football fans, with Gavin having supported the club from his childhood.
Dad Gavin said: “Myah first began showing signs that something wasn’t right on Sunday, when she became cross-eyed. She laughed and said: ‘Mummy, daddy, I can see two of you.’
“We weren’t too concerned as her eyes returned to normal, but at 6:30 the next morning she was screaming in pain and being violently sick. It was horrible.”
The family rushed Myah to hospital, where her symptoms worsened with numbness beginning in her feet before progressing upwards, leaving her unable to move or communicate. Myah had to also undergo a tracheostomy a few days after her admission to the hospital’s high dependency unit.
Her parents were initially told it could take months for Myah to recover. However, within a few days of her tracheostomy she could wiggle her tongue and has continued to improve, meaning that when members from the United Women’s team arrived at the hospital to see her, she could give them a big smile.
Days later Myah’s health had improved so much that she was able to meet Billy Sharp sitting in a chair and almost managed to give her idol a high five.
Gavin said: “The visits were truly wonderful, I can’t thank Sheffield United enough.”
Myah is now able to talk and has begun to participate with arts and crafts activities in the hospital.
Her family said they were hopeful she will be well enough for weekend visits home, and when she is discharged, there are plans for her to visit the Bramall Lane stadium and watch a game.
In the meantime, the club has continued to keep in close contact with the family. Gavin and Josh were invited to the Sheffield United game against Norwich City on Saturday as guests of the Sheffield United Community Foundation.
While there, both Gavin and Josh spent time in the new family hub and playing games with the foundation staff on the concourse.
Josh was also presented with a football signed by former Blades' forward David Brooks by Darren Baker, chairman of the foundation.
Dave McCarthy, operations director at Sheffield United, said: “After what Myah and her family have been through these last few weeks, being able to surprise her and her family was very special.
“I’m glad our visits were such a success and we look forward to welcoming her and her family to Bramall Lane when she is fully recovered.”