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Truly wonderful Blades hospital visit for poorly Myah

21 August 2018

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A four-year-old football fan struck by a sudden serious illness has been treated to a 'truly wonderful' visit by Sheffield United skipper Billy Sharp, and the club's Women's team.

Myah Dixon is recovering in Sheffield Children's Hospital after a sudden illness left her screaming in pain and unable to move. She has since been diagnosed with Guillain-Barré syndrome, an auto-immune disorder where the immune system attacks healthy nerve cells leading to weakness, tingling and numbness.

After hearing about Myah's illness on Facebook, Sheffield United arranged for her to be visited in the hospital by members of the Women's team before being surprised yet again by club captain Billy Sharp.

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.

The family 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 are 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 vs Norwich game 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 signed David Brooks football presented 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."

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