Pop star Ed Sheeran left a touching message for a Kiwi teenager recovering from a debilitating illness, before she attended his show last night.
Brooke Scully was 13 when she came down with a standard flu, meaning a few days off school for the normally healthy teenager. Her mother Tanya told Newshub today a stomach ache in the following days caused them to think her appendix had burst.
Finding nothing, doctors sent her home, where the normally robust competitive dancer went on to lose six kilos in a week, unable to eat. After collapsing, the Howick College pupil was re-admitted and doctors discovered she had contracted the intestinal infection viral gastritis. The illness left her hospitalised for two-and-a-half months, only able to eat through a feeding tube.
A month before she got sick, the family had already purchased tickets to see Ed Sheeran in concert - and Tanya said during her hospital stay, Brooke would download Sheeran's music to get her through the tough times.
"She would listen to him in hospital - as you can imagine it was quite a lonely place," Tanya told Newshub.
"She idolised him, he was just a huge influence on her - he sings from the heart which inspires Brooke, and he's also been through some tough times."
On Saturday, the teen received an email addressed to her and her 11-year-old sister Kendra and 15-year-old brother Ethan.
"Love Ed xx" the email read, with an attached video.
It was pop star Sheeran, with a message for the recovering teenager.
"Brooke, Ethan and Kendra I hope you're doing well.
"I hear you're coming to the show tomorrow, hope you really enjoy it and Brooke, hope you get well soon.
"Lots of love, hope you're smiling."
Tanya said her children were all blown away.
"They couldn't believe it. They thought it was a joke, or some trick from an app," she laughed.
The family attended Sheeran's Sunday night show and said it was "amazing".
"I just can't believe a man of his calibre took the time out of his day to do this," Tanya said. "I think it's awesome."
The Scullys are unsure who submitted their story to Sheeran's management, and Tanya prefers not to know.
"It was just an amazing surprise," she said.