A last wish of a terminally ill Sunderland girl was fulfilled when she met her hero Jermain Defoe and the rest of the SAFC squad.
Brave Jasmine Purvis is just two years old, but has been given just months to live as she battles a heart condition.
The little fighter was born with Down syndrome and a heart defect known as a pulmonary hypertension, meaning the right side of the organ stopped working, affecting her lungs and kidneys.
The youngster, from Canon Cockin Street, Sunderland, underwent major heart surgery at just five months old. But last November she became poorly and was transported to London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital, where she was diagnosed with the condition.
Then, just over five months ago, her mum Jamie Harvey and dad Chris Purvis - who are also parents to Jessie Robins, five, and Jodie Robins, eight - were given the devastating news that doctors at Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital couldn’t do anything more for little Jasmine.
Following the news, her granddad Colin Hope, 36, decided to make it his goal to fulfil all of his granddaughter’s last wishes and managed to get Sunderland supporter Jasmine to meet her favourite football team and manager David Moyes.
The support worker, also from Canon Cockin Street, said Jasmine was delighted to meet the players, and always kisses the badge on her Sunderland strip.
He said: “It was amazing.
“Her favourite player is Jermain Defoe and he spent a lot of time with her and even gave her his shirt.
“We were also given one of the Premier League balls which you can’t get and had breakfast with the players who all spent some time with her.
“Jasmine’s face lit up when she saw Jermain Defoe and he was brilliant with her. I have even heard that he has been asking after her since.
“Jasmine has took a turn for the worst sadly and has been really poorly, so it was great to come along and make some really good memories for her.
“It was her last wish.”
Jasmine’s family have also set up a fundraising drive for the Children’s Heart Unit (CHUF) at the Freeman Hospital under the name ‘Jasmine’s Hearts’.
Members of the local community have also rallied around and raised funds to send Jasmine and her family on a holiday break to Haggerston Castle, in Northumberland. The family want to repay that kindness by helping other families who have children with a heart condition.
So far, they have raised over £3,000 for the CHUF and hope that others will donate directly to the unit by mentioning the name ‘Jasmine’s Hearts.’
To donate to the CHUF visit: https://www.justgiving.com/chuf/donate