Britain’s Got Talent star Julia Carlile has had the first operation in her life-changing spinal surgery and is recovering in hospital.
The dance troupe’s Twitter feed posted a picture of Julia in her hospital bed with the caption: “Julia has done it! First op done, we are so proud of her and missing her so much want to give her a massive hug, our girl is a fighter.”
Fans were quick to offer their support with X Factor finalist Emily Middlemass commenting: “Love to you guys, so happy the first op went well.”
And Former BGT runners up Twist and Pulse sent her two heart emojis.
Another fan said: “So proud of you Julia. Stay strong and keep fighting.”
“Well done lovely girl, you’re so brave and strong,” said a further poster.
Julia shared her own picture from her hospital bed writing alongside it: “I did it guys! My first surgery is done. I’m very sore but I’m doing okay, thank you for all your support.”
The 15-year-old has scoliosis – a curvature of the spine – and revealed at her BGT audition that she wanted to win so she could have the surgery as she would not have been able to dance again if she hadn’t had the operation.
The pioneering treatment cost £78k and she needed to travel to the US for it after the NHS were only able to offer her spinal fusion surgery. That would have meant metal rods being used to fuse the vertebrae, leaving her with very little flexibility.
Although the girls didn’t win the show, judge Simon Cowell offered to pay for the surgery anyway, making Julia’s dreams come true.
Before she travelled to America for the operation, Julia spoke to the Liverpool Echo about what had happened backstage during the live shows.
“Simon came and spoke to us. Just walking off stage and he said he was paying for it and I couldn’t believe it.
“Annie came up to me and said Simon wants to speak to us. He said we did a really good performance.
“He didn’t have to do it and he has changed my life. There are no words to thank him for how grateful we are. It’s just unbelievable. It does not feel real.”
Before flying out to New York, Julia and her dance group, made up of Annie and Alice, both 17, Rebecca, 16, and 14-year-old Poppy, performed together at Formby Festival in Liverpool.
The girls cried as they came off stage and Julia posted an image to Instagram of her face decorated in glitter and wrote next to it: “Today’s performance with @merseygirls was very emotional, our last one before my surgery💜”.
We’re so pleased everything went well and we’re keeping everything crossed she’ll be back on stage in no time.