What a year to remember

Emily Crosby
Emily Crosby

THERE’S been no let-up in the dramatic life of Hartlepool teenager Emily Crosby.

Last year’s winner of a Child of Courage trophy at the Pride of Hartlepool awards not only made the headlines in the town - she hit the news stands across the country.

It was all because the battling 13-year-old had to have a titanium rod inserted in her back after doctors found she had one of the worst cases of scoliosis they’d ever seen.

Her spine which was so curved that her lungs became crammed in between her ribs. It curved at a 90 degree angle at the top before twisting 50 degrees in the opposite direction further down.

Yet within two weeks of the 11-hour operation to correct her condition, she was doing the splits to see if she would still be able to dance.

And now she is preparing for her moment on the stage - as a performer with the Seaton Carew Academy of Dance in their production of Babes in the Wood. It runs from Monday, January 20 to Saturday, January 25, and Emily has six dances a night to perform.

But the ultra-positive teenager, now aged 15, is loving life and continues to go from strength to strength.

Mum Jackie, 46, of Deacon Gardens in Seaton Carew, said: “She is doing points now which is where dancers have to stand on the tips of their toes.

“And she has just had a second appointment with the doctors who told her that nothing has moved in her back.

“It is great news because it means she will only need to be checked once a year until she is 18.”

Jackie said her daughter, a student at Dyke House School, was “over the moon and quite taken aback” at winning a trophy last year.

Judges decided she deserved to win an honour after hearing of her brave fight to fitness.

But on top of that, she also raised money within months of her operation. She collected £450 by wading in the North Sea as a way of saying thank you to the spinal unit at the James Cook University Hospital, in Middlesbrough, where she had her operation.

Mum-of-three Jackie who also has two sons Alex, 12, and Jack, ten, and who is married to project manager Glen Crosby, 45, said: “I think she has inspired people.”