Coldplay lead singer Chris Martin made a detour to Chicago Saturday afternoon to visit 17-year-old Chicago teenager and Lou Malnati’s employee, Heidi Hernandez.

Heidi has been battling a terminal illness called Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis since age three. The heartfelt story began earlier this week when Chance the Rapper, who is a regular Lou Malnati’s customer, heard of Heidi’s situation from the Lou Malnati’s management team.  He went out of his way to ensure the teen had tickets to the Coldplay concert in Chicago Thursday night.  From there, Martin was made aware of her situation and love for the band, and adjusted his travel plans to make time to visit with her.

They spent time together at the Lou Malnati’s located near Midway Airport, where Hernandez is employed.

“I met Chris Martin and it all feels like a dream.  He was really encouraging me to not give up and told me I was awesome and to always remember that,” says Hernandez after their visit.

At the age of seven, she was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis and showing signs of liver failure. Heidi was put on the transplant list. At age nine, a donor was found and surgeons successfully completed the liver transplant. Unfortunately, it was discovered that the Heidi falls into the small number of patients where her disease recurs in the transplanted liver. In addition, she has been recently diagnosed with Hepatitis Autoimmune and is showing signs of liver failure again and continues to fall more ill while waiting for another liver.

Heidi still plans to graduate high school despite needing to resort to homeschooling due to her declining health. She also continues to work a few days per week as long as she can physically keep up. She credits listening to Coldplay as something that has helped her cope with the challenges of her illness. Her manager at Lou Malnati’s, Tori Sanchez, has a mutual love for the band which has helped them bond.

“She has taught me more than I can even offer her. When she first started, what broke the ice and sparked endless conversation was the mutual obsession for Coldplay. Today I now consider her like a little sister.  She is my family,” says Sanchez.

Sanchez, along with Hernandez and her boyfriend were all extended an invitation to sit in the front row at the Coldplay concert in Seattle on September 23rd.