‘Supergirl’ Emma’s bravery rewarded
BRAVERY in the face of adversity is why this week’s Pride in Peterborough winner has her very own front page.
Inspirational Emma Wells (14) has fought her way back to fitness after being forced to wear a back brace for 18 months.
Emma was only 11 when she received the shock news that she was suffering from scoliosis, which is curvature of the spine.
For the King’s School pupil – a sporting star who has represented Great Britain at kick-boxing – the news she would need to wear a brace for 23 hours a day to straighten up her twisted back came as a shattering blow.
But brave Emma, who lives in Paston Lane, Walton, said despite finding it “really scary” she was determined not to let it hold her back.
She said: “The hardest thing was going back to school for the first time wearing the brace. It was really horrible and uncomfortable.”
After 18 months, as Emma’s condition worsened, she was faced with a stark choice of continuing with the brace or having a risky operation on her spine.
She chose to have the operation at Easter 2009 at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge.
Emma added: “It was really scary making the decision but the operation meant I could get maybe get back to doing my sport. I didn’t want to let it continue to hold me back, I just wanted to get on with my life.”
The irrepressible youngster even sneaked off to dance in the Honeyhill’s Got Talent
behind her parents’ show back.
Proud mum, Wendy Foreman (44), called her daughter “supergirl” and said she had been astounded by her tenacity. She said: “She got the news she would have to wear the brace just as she was about to start senior school, which is a seminal moment.
“The condition is associated with growth spurts and Emma is already 5ft 8ins and growing and she had to sleep in the brace. Because she is so sporty, she begged them to let her have an hour out of the brace so she was allowed to play non-contact sports like netball in school. Basically, there is nothing that is going to keep her down.”
The family are sports mad, with Emma’s older brother Harry, who is a Peterborough District hammer throwing champion, played for England Under 16s at rugby this year, as well as bagging a training contract at Leicester Tigers.
Emma made her return to competitive athletics for the Nene Valley Harriers on Sun- day, when she was in superb form and won two of the U15’s events – shot and discus – in the East Anglian League.
Now, having already represented Great Britain at the World Amateur Kickboxing championships in 2006, Emma has set her sights on the Olympics in London 2012.
She added: “Being back in competition was really tough at first but I really enjoyed it. The next thing is to see if I can start fighting again and I hope to be able to represent my country again soon.”