England defender Ben White took antibiotics for six years as a young child due to a life-threatening illness.
White's talent is clear to see but his own mother, Carole, has revealed the hardships he went through as a child.
She told The Athletic per Daily Mail: "His immune system was not working. If somebody sneezed, he would end up with pneumonia.
"He had appendicitis and he didn't come around from that for a while. He had six or seven different infections. He was in hospital for much of his young life, for months at a time.
"He was seven when he had his appendix out. He was on antibiotics twice a day until the age of eight from 18 months old. He had massive allergies.
"We carried an Epipen (adrenaline auto-injector) everywhere. It would be the only way to save him.
"As parents it was either 'wrap him up in a bubble' or let him do what he wanted so he had a quality of life. And then, he started to get better."
White first caught the eye of football fans with an impressive string of performances on loan at Leeds United, helping them earn promotion from the Championship to the Premier League.
The 23-year-old returned to parent club Brighton for this season and made 36 league appearances as the Seagulls finished 16th.
Carole continued: "Now he's not got any allergies at all and the treatment worked. But back then, all those days in hospital, we could never have imagined he could be an athlete.
"But the specialists did say that the more exercise he did, the better that would be to spark the immune system. So we put him into football, swimming, athletics, rugby, cricket, gymnastics - he did it all.
"But it is still surreal. My brother and I were talking about seeing Ben on television.
"It's so weird as a mum and you just think 'Gosh, this sickly little lad and now look at him."
White has a chance to start in England's first Group D clash against Croatia on Sunday afternoon due to Harry Maguire's ankle injury.
Chosen for YouChosen for You
Most Read StoriesMost Read