Simon Cowell has paid $230,000 (£175,000) for a Britain's Got Talent finalist to have surgery on her back.
Julia Carlile, 15, won the hearts of the judges when she appeared on this year's series of the TV talent show with dance troupe MerseyGirls and revealed the show might be her last chance to dance due to needing surgery to treat her scoliosis, or curvature of the spine, which has left her in serious pain.
The group made it to the finals, at which point Simon approached them backstage and told the schoolgirl that regardless of whether they emerged victorious on the programme, he would foot the bill for her operation, which will involve having screws fixed to a cord inside her back.
"Simon came and spoke to us backstage," she told the Liverpool Echo. "He said he was paying for it and I couldn't believe it.
"He didn't have to do it and he has changed my life. There are no word to thank him for how grateful we are. It's just unbelievable. It does not feel real."
Her mum Kate added that Julia would have been unable to dance again if she had back surgery in the U.K. but in the U.S., she has more hope of being able to perform again.
"We are in a very privileged position because of Simon," Kate said. "We want to say a massive thank you to everyone who voted for girls and Simon and everyone who has supported them. The wave of support has been unbelievable."
Julia sent Simon a T-shirt which read, "I paid for Julia Carlile's Scoliosis treatment", and a letter thanking him for his gesture. Julia and her family flew to New York on Sunday (16Jul17) and will then head to New Jersey, where the operation will take place.