Dream birthday for Sunderland schoolgirl

On song:  Franchesqua-Levi McGow, 10, pictured in the recording studio.

On song: Franchesqua-Levi McGow, 10, pictured in the recording studio.

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A SICK schoolgirl has fulfilled a lifelong dream by taking part in a birthday recording session.

Franchesqua-Levi McGow, who suffers from a number of debilitating illnesses and disabilities, celebrated her 10th birthday by recording songs at the studios of Spark FM, a community radio station based at Sunderland University.

The session, where she sang her own versions of Little Mix and One Direction songs, was organised by her parents and Spark as a surprise birthday present.

Franchesqua-Levi, from Millfield, Sunderland, said: “It just felt really, really weird. I’ve been wanting to do it for all of my life.”

She underwent a hip operation in July, after she was born without a hip socket, leaving her unable to walk or play with friends.

Her dad, Allen, 51, said: “I cannot explain just how good it was to see her recording. I can’t put it into words.”

Mum Andrea, 44, said: “It feels heartrending, overwhelming, fantastic.

“Everybody has been fantastic, we’ve had loads of help from everybody for her birthday.

“She had a makeover done today for nothing, and a friend of ours arranged the transport.”

Franchesqua-Levi had a five-year wait for her operation, after the original surgery that was planned was cancelled.

Since her operation, she has been able to walk and has returned to school earlier than expected.

Mrs McGow added: “It used to be so bad that she could only walk a few paces without falling. She was in pain constantly and crying all the time.

“She’s now on her feet, singing and dancing, moving and running.

“It’s absolutely fantastic. We weren’t expecting her to be on her feet now. At this stage, she should still be recovering from the operation.”

Joanna Makepeace, talent development manager at Sunderland University, said: “It’s very rewarding for us to help realise a lttle girl’s dream and we’re delighted Franchesqua-Levi had an amazing time.”