At last, Emily has good reason to sing

BRAVE Wodonga teenager Emily Kirk will return from Melbourne today, three weeks after an operation that saw her spine straightened so her ribs no longer sit on her pelvis.

The schoolgirl’s discharge from the Royal Children’s Hospital comes a week before a concert at Albury’s SS & A Club in her honour.

Her father Paul Kirk said the thought of the EM for Mobility show had inspired Emily as she recovered from surgery she had last month.

“We’re hoping Emily will be singing at the concert,” Mr Kirk said of his 14-year-old who has performed at the Tamworth country music festival.

Emily was expected to be in hospital for up to 10 days but complications with the surgery led to a longer stay.

Mr Kirk said nerve damage had left Emily with “pins and needles down her left side but rehabilitation had restored normal feeling.

The operation straightened her spine from 103 degrees to 90 degrees, lifting her ribs from her pelvis.

Mr Kirk said Emily could have suffered complete shutdown without the procedure, which was also expected to improve her lung function — one had been operating at only 80 per cent capacity.

Emily was born with muscular dystrophy and has scoliosis, a curvature of the spine.

The operation was aimed at tackling the impact of scoliosis.

The concert on Wednesday next week will raise money for the Kirk family to buy a walker, electric wheelchair and wheelchair-friendly van.

Mr Kirk, who has been in Melbourne with his wife and Emily’s mother Julie since the operation, said Emily was thrilled about the show.

“She’s looking forward to everyone singing for her — it’s been a bit of an uphill battle since we arrived in Melbourne.”

Border singer and friend of the Kirks, Sharyn Bilston will impersonate Cher.

“A lot of people in the music industry in Albury know Emily and we hope to get a full house — we’re that close to raising the money,” Ms Bilston said.

“I’ve had a fair bit to do with Emily and her family and they’re incredible people.”

Tickets for dinner and show are $55 or $25 for the show.

To book a table call the SS&A Club on (02) 6041 2222.

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