Little Mix have brought a smile to the face of a young fan who was too ill to make it to their concert.
Young Olivia Beavis was devastated when doctors told her she wouldn’t be able to attend the group’s show at the weekend.
The X Factor-winning group – which stars South Shields girls Jade Thirlwall and Perrie Edwards alongside Jesy Nelson and Leigh-Anne Pinnock – were at the Metro Radio Arena, in Newcastle on Saturday with their Get Weird Tour.
Olivia was supposed to be going to the concert with her twin sister Sophie, and mum and dad, Lindsey Howell and Chris Beavis.
The tickets were a birthday present for the girls, who turn eight today.
But when Olivia, a pupil at St Matthew’s in Jarrow, was unexpectedly called into hospital to have surgery on her spine, she was upset to learn she wouldn’t be able to see her favourite group in action.
She had a smile on her face today though after Little Mix gave some signed goodies to the Gazette to present to Olivia just in time for her big day.
Lindsey, 34, who works for BT, said: “The girls are obsessed with Little Mix. They always play the CD and sing along to every word.
“We got tickets for the four of us all to go along to the concert together for their birthday and they’ve been excited about it for ages, and it was so upsetting that Olivia wasn’t going to be able to go.
“The surgery was unexpected, but we couldn’t put it off until after the concert and she was so upset.”
Friends of the family started an online campaign to get Little Mix’s attention, in the hope that they could make Olivia feel like she was still a part of their hometown show.
And after the Gazette got in touch with the chart-toppers, they passed on a signed poster, picture, and tour programme, including a special personalised message wishing her well, as well as a Little Mix tote bag and mug to give to a Olivia.
Olivia has faced a tough battle and overcome many obstacles in her short life.
The birthday girl has already had 25 operations and even needed a kidney transplant in 2013, when her dad, 47, an IT manager, stepped up to give her the organ.
Lindsey said: “Olivia has had a few problems stemming from complications with her birth. She has one leg shorter than the other and curvature of the spine, and she was born with just a scrap of a kidney.
“We were hoping to put this surgery off until the end of the year, because she’s been through so much already, but the doctors said they had no choice but to do it now or she could have ended up with really bad problems.
“They’ve basically put rods on either side of her spine and it couldn’t wait or the top of her spine would have started curving in.”
Olivia spent two weeks in Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary and faces another six weeks of recovery at home, as well as having to use a wheelchair to get around.
Lindsey said: “She was so gutted about missing the concert but this is amazing. Her sister and her friends are all going to be so jealous that she’s got something personal from Little Mix.”
Olivia said: “Thank you very much, Little Mix. I hope I get to see your next concert.”