Pals back campaign

Lucy Boot and Emily Pearson
Lucy Boot and Emily Pearson
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Two friends who had surgery in Sheffield for exactly the same spinal condition within weeks of one another are backing the appeal to raise £20 million towards redevelopment work at the city’s children’s hospital.

Emily Pearson and Lucy Boot, both aged 18, were diagnosed with scoliosis, which meant they both needed operations to straighten their spines.

They are now supporting an attempt to break the world record for the largest mass space hopper bounce, which will raise money for the Sheffield Children’s Hospital Charity’s Make It Better campaign.

Emily and Lucy, from Chesterfield, have been friends since they were three years old, and while Lucy was diagnosed with scoliosis aged eight, Emily was told she had the condition at 15.

Scoliosis causes the spine to bend, and in severe cases the bones can twist into an ‘S’ shape.

“When the doctors told me I had scoliosis, my life changed incredibly fast. I was told I needed an operation, otherwise I’d struggle to do everyday tasks and I could end up in constant pain,” said Emily.

“I didn’t take the news very well, but when I found out that Lucy was having the same procedure done two weeks before me things felt even more surreal.”

The Make It Better appeal will pay for a series of improvements at the hospital, such as private en-suite rooms, a ‘play tower’ and hi-tech equipment.

The world record attempt – called Bounce It Better – is happening at Stand Road Park in Chesterfield at midday on Sunday.

Up to 3,000 people are being urged to join in.

Emily said: “Being part of it is my way of giving something back to the hospital because it’s an incredible place.”

Entry costs £10, which includes a space hopper and pump to keep, and family registration is £30. Visit to sign up.