When Sophie May was a teenager a life-limiting illness repeatedly landed her in hospital.
By the time she was 15, Sophie, now 34, had not only ended up in a coma but had already been resuscitated twice and placed on a ventilator due to her severe asthma attacks.
As her health continued to decline, she was housebound and dependent on large amounts of medication. Her outlook was bleak and her mental health took a nose-dive.
Doctors told Sophie’s mum that there was nothing more they could do, so she decided to apply for When You Wish Upon a Star, a charity that grants the wishes of children living with a life-threatening illness.
That’s when everything changed for Sophie.
One day, Sophie told her mum that, above anything else in the world, she wanted to meet the Beckhams. Yep, those Beckhams.
‘I watched him [play] for England. And they did a lot for charity at the time.’
Sophie added: ‘So I said, “Oh, I’d love to meet Victoria and David Beckham”. The next thing you know, I was getting a call from Barbara from When You Wish Upon a Star to say, “would you like to fly to Madrid and meet David?”’
At the time, David, now 48, was playing for Real Madrid and lived in Spain with Victoria, 49, and their kids.
Before she knew it, Sophie was packed and ready for a weekend with the Beckhams. It was an experience she says saved her life.
‘There was a new drug that had come out around the time I met David, but it wasn’t available yet.
‘We had to fight for it. Meeting David and Victoria gave me that fight, mentally.
‘Before that, I was giving up. I was tired. But meeting them gave me that positive mental attitude and made me think, “No, I want to be here. I want to fight for my life”.’
While in Spain, Sophie spent time with David at his office and was taken aback by just how down-to-earth the superstar footballer was.
‘I didn’t know what to expect. I was meeting someone famous, but he was massively down to earth. He wanted to know about me, my story, my life, my family. And he wasn’t just asking those questions because he felt he had to, he was genuinely interested.’
Spending time with Posh and Becks meant that Sophie was allowed a rare glimpse into the private life of one of the most famous couples in the world.
However, they were more like a normal family than many would suspect.
‘[They were] a strong couple, a strong family unit, and that was something I aspired to,’ she shared.
Reflecting on David’s new Netflix documentary, Beckham, a large portion of which focuses around his time with Real Madrid, Sophie admitted it took her back to her time spent in Spain.
As anyone who watched Beckham will know, David and Victoria’s time in Madrid was far from smooth sailing.
At the time, the Beckhams had only welcomed three of their four children: Brooklyn, now 24, Romeo, 21, and Cruz, who is now 18 and was born in Madrid in 2005.
They are also now doting parents to daughter Harper, 12.
In her husband’s Netflix documentary, Victoria admitted that moving to Spain in the early noughties was difficult and put a strain on their marriage.
However, Sophie only has fond memories of her time with the Beckhams in the Spanish capital.
‘When you see him playing football – we went to watch him play football with Victoria and David’s mum – so that brought it all back. That was really nice to see,’ she said.
Nowadays, Sophie is happily married with two lovely children and even her health and asthma have massively improved.
Asked whether she feels she’s come out the other side, Sophie shared: ‘Yeah, definitely thanks to the [new] drug and meeting them [the Beckhams] and having that positive attitude.’
She added: ‘Things have been difficult, but looking back, I never knew that I’d be here with children, married and living the life I’m living now.’
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