Belfast Telegraph

Britain's Got Talent contestant recovers after first stage of op paid for by Simon Cowell

Simon Cowell paid £175,000 for Julia Carlile to have Scoliosis treatment.

Britain's Got Talent contestant Julia Carlile is recovering in hospital after having the first stage of a back operation paid for by music mogul Simon Cowell.

The 15-year-old won the hearts of the judges when she appeared on this year's series of the TV talent show with dance troupe MerseyGirls and revealed the show might be her last chance to dance due to needing £175,000 surgery to treat her scoliosis, or curvature of the spine, which has left her in serious pain.

The group made it to the finals, at which point Simon approached them backstage and told the schoolgirl that regardless of whether they emerged victorious on the programme, he would foot the bill for her operation, which will involve having screws fixed to a cord inside her back.

On Tuesday (25Jul17), the MerseyGirls shared a snap of Julia in a hospital bed in America as she recovered following the first stage of the operation.

Alongside the picture, they wrote: "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."

Julia's mum Kate previously told the Liverpool Echo newspaper that her daughter would have been unable to dance again if she had back surgery in the U.K. but in the U.S., because of the availability of a different type of operation, she has more hope of being able to perform again.

"We are in a very privileged position because of Simon," Kate said. "We want to say a massive thank you to everyone who voted for girls and Simon and everyone who has supported them. The wave of support has been unbelievable."

Julia sent Simon a T-shirt which read, "I paid for Julia Carlile's Scoliosis treatment", and a letter thanking him for his gesture.

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