A inspirational teen with a severe spinal condition is delighted to be chosen to go on a family holiday to Blackpool.
Sixteen-year-old Emily Anderson was diagnosed with scoliosis over four years ago, after scans revealed she was suffering from curvature of the spine.
The brave youngster from Grange Road, Hartlepool, endured years of wearing a body brace for 23 hours a day in the hope of correcting the problem, but was left with no other option but to undergo surgery.
Now the Hartlepool Sixth Form student is about to be rewarded for her bravery, after Northubrian Water chose her to go on an all-expenses-paid trip to Blackpool with her family.
Mum Louise, 46, entered her daughter into the competition via Twitter last month and was delighted to find out just weeks later that Emily had been successful.
She said: “Emily was playing cricket aged 12 when she was hit over the head twice with a cricket ball.
“There was no damage caused by the ball, but when we went to the hospital to get her checked out, scans showed she had two curves in her spine.
“She was referred and doctors told her she had to wear a brace for 23 hours a day as the curves were increasing.
“She wore it for four years, but it didn’t work, so in July this year she decided to undergo an operation at James Cook University Hospital called Scoliosis Spinal Infusion where they placed two poles in her spine.
“She is still limited in what she can do, but she has made a massive recovery and we are so proud of her.
“We are really looking forward to the trip.”
Emily along with her mum, dad Jason, 46, and sister Abigail, 19, will stay at the Sheraton Hotel at the popular resort and will enjoy a trip to Madame Tussauds.
Northumbrian Water paid for the trip to mark National Customer Service Week which saw them carry out random acts of kindness for their customers across the country.
Emily was chosen as one of two people in the North East to receive an act of kindness. She chose to go to Blackpool, as it is her favourite place.
Northumbrian Water’s customer care manager, Rachel Nelson, said: “Emily is such an incredible young lady.
“Her courage and determination is so inspiring and it was a privilege to meet her.
“For us to help Emily and her family to enjoy some quality time away together is very special.
“We hope they have a great time in Blackpool.
“Customer service is at the heart of all we do and we recognise the importance of providing our customers with excellent service in all areas of the business.
“We wanted to mark customer service week in a unique way and we have had the opportunity to touch the lives of around 2,000 people, which is fantastic!”