It's La Vida Loca for Josieann
PUBLISHED: 13:26 10 July 2001 | UPDATED: 10:20 03 March 2010
IT could have been the worst weekend of her life, packing her bags ready for deportation back to Jamaica. Instead nine-year-old Josieann Giles, who is seriously ill with a rare brain tumour, met her pop idol – chart topping Latin hip swinger Ricky Martin – during a dream trip to London.
IT could have been the worst weekend of her life, packing her bags ready for deportation back to Jamaica.
But instead nine-year-old Josieann Giles, who is seriously ill with a rare brain tumour, met her pop idol – chart topping Latin hip swinger Ricky Martin – during a dream trip to London.
Ever since the singer took the pop world by storm with Livin' La Vida Loca, the brave schoolgirl, of Beatty Road, Ipswich, hoped one day she would come face-to-face with her idol.
However, when the Make A Wish Foundation arranged for the youngster to meet the star on Sunday, her stepmother, Pam, did not dare tell her of the surprise for fear that she would not be able to go.
Josieann, along with her sister Julieann and father Devon, were due to be deported back to the Caribbean yesterday after receiving a notice from the Home Office Immigration Service.
But just hours before the family was due to travel to London, the 31-year-old mother was thrilled to hear they had been given a further period of temporary residence in Britain and Josieann's wish came true.
After spending the night in an hotel in the West End, the family was whisked off in a chauffeur-driven Mercedes to Party in the Park in London's Hyde Park.
Little Josieann was given ten minutes to chat to Ricky after being given a backstage artist pass and was thrilled when he handed her a second signed autograph.
Mrs Giles said: "Josieann said it was the best day of her life and she was so excited. She really deserved this after everything that she has been through.
"She was so shocked and couldn't believe it was happening. He gave her another signed photo, a kiss and a big hug."
The Home Office Immigration Service is considering deporting the sisters and their father Devon because he was convicted of drug smuggling four years ago.
As well as meeting Ricky Martin on the Sunday, the family were also introduced to a host of other stars including Chris Tarrant and pop star Shaggy and were able to stand at the front of Sunday's concert.