BRAVE little Olivia Sagar shed tears of joy after months of heartache and pain after The Star gave her something to smile about - a meet up with her pop idols JLS, writes Graham Walker.
The heartbroken 10-year-old is grieving the loss of her 36-year-old dad Paul, who died suddenly from a heart attack this summer.
He was her ‘rock’, nursing her through a series of operations for a bowel condition so rare that doctors still haven’t got a name for it, explained doting mum Joanne, 33.
The schoolgirl, who always puts on a brave face, was depending on him being there to hold her hand when she undergoes a major life-changing operation at Sheffield’s Children Hospital on Monday - and to share her 11th birthday next Friday.
Her mum, brother Ewan, 13, plus all her family and friends are there for her.
But the schoolgirl couldn’t get through each day without playing her JLS records around the clock, said her mum.
When The Star told the superstars about little miss courage, they lived up to their hit She Makes Me Wanna. They said they wanted to meet her.
VIDEO: Press ther play button to watch Graham Walker’s exclusive video report - imncluding a message from JLS to Olivia.
The boy band are currently touring the country promoting their forthcoming album Evolution, out on November 5, preceded by lead single, Hottest Girl in the World, on October 21.
Fab four Marvin Humes, JB Gill, Oritsé Williams and Aston Merrygold took time out of their busy schedule during a whistle-stop visit to Sheffield to give her hugs, kisses and best wishes.
The Star organised the meeting at a secret location because the boys get mobbed by their army of fans whenever they appear in public.
“It was amazing. The best day of my life. I don’t know what to say,” said tearful Olivia, of Lang Crescent, Burton Grange in Barnsley.
JLS pin-up Aston said: “We want to send you so much love, hugs and kisses. We heard that you like us. You listen to our songs all the time. We want to send you loads of love. Take care.”
She shared the once-in-a-life treat with her cousin Amber Sagar, 14, of Cudworth, and pal Caitlin Moxon, 10, of Monk Bretton.
Joanne, who took them along - at just an hour’s notice - said: “We cannot thank JLS enough, or The Star for making this happen. It was unbelievable.
“It’s been a terrible year for us all. Paul died from a heart attack just a week after we got back from our family holiday to Ibiza in June.
“He used to work as an electrical labourer but for the past few years he’s been Olivia’s carer.
“She was born with a bowel condition so rare that doctors still don’t have a name for it. She’s had six operations, the first one when she was just nine-months-old. She still needs 16 spoons of medicine and 11 special laxative drinks every day, otherwise she’d be in pain, her stomach would swell up and she can’t eat.
“Olivia is having a life changing operation on Monday to have a stoma fitted - it’s like a beach ball valve, where her medication can go straight into her system. It will mean she doesn’t have to take all the medication by mouth any more. It will give her a lot more freedom.
“Her dad knew about the operation and he was going to be there to hold her hand. She’s very brave. She knows we’re all here for her, but she’s so happy now that JLS know and care so much. They were wonderful and so kind.”