Taylor Swift fan gives tickets to seriously ill North Wales girl let down at 11th hour

-Credit: (Image: Edge family)

The family of a North Wales girl being treated for a brain tumour was left devastated after her Taylor Swift tickets were suddenly withdrawn. When they turned to social media, a young Swiftie made the ultimate sacrifice, by offering to give up her own tickets.

The gesture, by Liverpool’s Ella Hooton, was labelled “amazing” by the father of 14-year-old Mali Edge, from Colwyn Bay, Conwy. So that she could sit down, rather than stand during the concert, the gifted tickets were later upgraded to VIP lounge status by former Liverpool boxer Paul Smith.

Mali was diagnosed with medulloblastoma last November and was nearing the end of radiotherapy when a charity donated two tickets to her. She was offered the tickets by staff at Christie Hospital in Manchester, who remembered Mali listening to Taylor Swift songs before her treatment sessions.

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Her consultant even agreed to change Mali’s chemotherapy schedule so she could attend the concert in Liverpool on Friday, June 14. But with seven days to go, the ticket "cancelled".

The news left Mali “very upset”, said dad Andrew, who wrote online: “There’s not much she can look forward to but this was huge and obviously it has had a huge negative impact on her.” He told North Wales Live: “I deliberated whether to put something on Twitter (X). I wrote a short post, looked at it an hour later and it had gone mad.”

The post received 7,600 retweets, including one by ex-Liverpool FC footballer Jamie Carragher. Similar posts by family members, describing how Mali was left “absolutely devastated”, gathered more than seven million views.

In response, social media users offered to set up fundraisers or even buy tickets themselves. Some tagged Taylor Swift urging the pop superstar to intervene. Presciently, a Manchester United fan said: “Not a fan of the football team... but you can be damn sure folks of Liverpool will have this fixed by the morning.” The North Wales Live Whatsapp community for top stories and breaking news is live now - here’s how to sign up

Taylor Swift on stage at the Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh last Friday
Taylor Swift on stage at the Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh last Friday -Credit:Jane Barlow/PA Wire

He was right. Among those seeing the message were fellow Swiftie Ella, ex-boxer Paul Smith and Andy Heaton, co-founder of the Anfield Wrap podcast series. When Ella offered up her standing tickets to Mali and her mum Catrin, Andy pleaded for a seated ticket swap and Paul duly obliged.

Mr Edge described the trio as “diamonds”. “I don’t know them but they have made a young girl very happy,” he said, adding on Twitter that Mali was “the most excited I’ve seen her since she was diagnosed”.

He added: “I’ve no idea why the tickets were cancelled and I’m not really interested. We were willing to pay. I went on resale sites but there was nothing available.

“Then this young lady came forward and offered her tickets, which was amazing. If anyone deserves flowers and a box of chocolates, it’s Ella. Sign up for the North Wales Live newsletter sent twice daily to your inbox

“The whole experience has been quite overwhelming. We’re just normal people who found themselves in an extraordinary situation. We never expected it to go as big as it has, with a global outpouring of support.”

On Twitter, Andy Heaton dubbed Paul Smith a “Scouse King” and Ella Hooton a “Scouse Queen”. For Mr Edge and his family, what happened has reaffirmed their faith in humanity. “I just want to make everyone aware that people are great,” he said. “They really came together to support us and I’d like to thank everyone for their kind messages and offers of help.”

A Taylor Swift-themed art trail has been established in Liverpool ahead of the pop superstar's arrival
A Taylor Swift-themed art trail has been established in Liverpool ahead of the pop superstar's arrival -Credit:Peter Byrne/PA Wire

Taylor Swift is bringing her Eras Tour to Liverpool’s Anfield stadium on June 13-15. In preparation for her arrival, the city has been given a themed makeover with a series of art installations, each inspired by one of the singer’s albums.

Mali is now trying to build up her strength before attending Friday’s gig. “She was diagnosed seven months ago when she was 13,” said her dad. “It’s been very hard. She’s had an aggressive course of treatment which had taken quite a toll on her.

“It’s been very difficult for all of us. We’ve gone from a place of absolute horror to one where we’re now just hoping for the best – the prognosis is now more promising.”

After the concert Mali will go straight to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, Liverpool, to start her third round of chemotherapy the following day. Mr Edge praised all the charity and medical staff involved in Mali’s treatment so far.

“The charities Young Lives vs Cancer, Teenage Cancer Trust, Joshua Tree have all supported us,” he said. “I’d also like to thank Christie's and Alder Hey hospitals, as well as Glan Clwyd which helped Mali in the early stages.”

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