A member of a teen dance troupe that recently received the coveted golden buzzer on Britain’s Got Talent has taken to Twitter, profusely thanking Simon Cowell for paying for a life-changing back surgery that will allow her to continue dancing.
During the troupe’s audition in April, 15-year-old Julia Carlile told the judges that she suffers from a crippling case of scoliosis, a curvature of the spine that was crushing her lung.
The type of corrective surgery she planned to undergo would leave her unable to continue dancing, she added, so this was her last shot at stardom.
“I have to have surgery soon and after surgery, I won’t be able to dance, so this is, like, my last chance because I’ve always wanted to do it,” she said.
Diagnosed at the age of 6, Julia said she always used to cover up her back out of embarrassment. But eventually, she realized that she shouldn’t be so self-conscious about her body. Now she performs freely and doesn’t try to mask her scoliosis.
— Julia / BGT GB 2017 (@juliacarlile_x) May 11, 2017
“Now it doesn’t even cross my mind that people might be judging me. I don’t care anymore and don’t want to hide away,” she said, adding it’s “the best decision I’ve made.”
Simon gladly stepped up the plate after finding out that another type of surgery was available in the U.S. He covered the cost of the procedure – the equivalent of $101,400 – which involved attaching screws in Julia’s back.
Her first surgery was deemed a success, and she’s now on the road to recovery after a second surgery last month.
“I’m beyond happy and it means we can carry on dancing together for the rest of our lives,” she said back in June. “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.”
Watch the videos below to see Julia dance and to witness the moment Simon first hinted at the generous gift to come, and share!