Leila Durr, 15, from Pretoria meets Ed Sheeran before his show at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg. Reach for a Dream
In the chart-topper Thinking Out Loud, Ed Sheeran sings: “When your legs don’t work like they used to before/ and I can’t sweep you off your feet...”

For Pretoria teenager Leila Durr, 15, a huge Sheeran fan, it feels like these words have a special meaning for her.

Durr suffers from a rare genetic disease called Friedreich’s Ataxia and she is confined to a wheelchair.

But her heart soared when her dream to hear Sheeran live in concert in South Africa come true.

And not just that, she was one of the few lucky fans to meet Sheeran back stage before the Joburg show at the FNB Stadium near Soweto last Sunday.

Durr, who was accompanied by her best friend Elsje de Beer and her parents Riana and Frans, were VIP guests at the show thanks to Reach for a Dream with Jacaranda FM’s Good Morning Angels and Big Concerts.

And what did the 28-year-old, red-headed English singer-songwriter who has teenage girls weak at the knees do: he got down on his knees to chat to her, take some photos and sign posters for her.

The Pretoria News, The Saturday Star's sister publication, met up with Durr this week after she was live on air on Jacaranda FM’s Breakfast with Martin Bester, where she chatted excitedly about her once-in-a-lifetime experience.

An elated Durr recalled the moment she saw Sheeran, saying the star called her "an angel".

“I went in and he gave me a very nice hug and he went on his knees and then he signed my T-shirt.

“I don’t know what went through my mind. I was just so excited and I couldn’t believe it was happening.

"He said thank you (to me) and he was my dream and it made me feel special,” she said.

Durr said when she then went to watch the show it was so much better for having met him and knowing the songs.

Mother Riana said: “I am speechless. I contacted Reach for a Dream during the course of last year because Leila had been saying to me for years that if Ed Sheeran came to South Africa one day please could we go.

"Her favourite songs are the love odes Thinking Out Loud and Perfect, which summed up her night," the girl's mother said.

Sheeran was in the country for his Divide tour, with his last performance at the Cape Town Stadium on Thursday night.

Despite battling a life-threatening illness, Durr attends a mainstream school and takes part in most school activities.

Meeting Sheeran was her number one dream on her Reach for a Dream application.

Her second dream was a family holiday in Mauritius and her third one was to get an iPhone X.