We always knew Simon Cowell had a heart. Underneath his gruff exterior and critical examinations of contestants on various TV competition shows, Cowell really has a soft spot. It showed up rather clearly just recently, when he decided to cover the cost of surgery for one of his favorite Britain’s Got Talent performers.
Dancer Julia Carlile appeared on the show with her dance group, MerseyGirls. During their intro, the group revealed that should they win the competition, they would use the money to pay for a vital surgery Julia needed in America to fix her Scoliosis and allow her to continue dancing. The surgery, unfortunately, is unavailable in the UK.
The team ultimately did not win the competition, despite getting a golden buzzer to move forward. However, Cowell was so moved by Carlile’s story that he opted to foot the bill for her £175k surgery, as well as the cost of travel to the U.S.
Vertebral body tethering, the operation she received, is a complex process where screws are fixed along a cord inside the back. Had she not been able to get surgery in the U.S., Carlile would have to settle for a different kind of surgery in the UK, one that did not allow her to continue dancing.
“When I’m dancing I just feel like a normal kid, I completely forget about my condition,” Carlile told the judges before the competition.
She later told friends that Cowell had offered to pay for the surgery when the group didn’t win. Just a few days ago, Carlile tweeted out a heartfelt thanks to Cowell for his generosity with assurance that her surgery was a success:
— Julia / BGT GB 2017 (@juliacarlile_x) August 6, 2017
Cowell himself doesn’t appear to have responded publicly to the tweets as of yet, but you can get he’s smiling as wide as if Julia were his own protege.