Emily, who had 70% of lung removed, wins bronze medal

As a new decade begins we catch up with Nicol whose daughter Emily had 70pc of her lung removed as a baby. Now she is a karate champion

A little girl is showing everyone exactly what she’s made of and is defying doctors’ predictions that she wouldn’t survive by becoming a karate champion.

Seven year old Emily Norris, from Bowthorpe, Norwich, recently took part in a local karate competition and was awarded a bronze medal, despite having 70% of her lung removed before her first birthday and a kidney removed at three years old.

Emily was born with a rare genetic condition and is believed to be just the 13th person in the world to have it. The condition, which is yet to be named, is thought to have led to her lung and kidney problems and other complications. However, she has not let that stop her achieving everything she wants to. Bursting with pride, her mum, Nicol Nicholls, said:

“I don’t know what the future holds for Emily as not much is known about her genetic condition, but one thing we do know is that she has always been a fighter!

“Emily trains three times a week at Traditional Karate Fitness in Norwich and she has gone from strength to strength. She achieves so much and I am always so proud of her.

“We’ve come such a long way since Emily’s operations but we will never forget those that helped and made sure I was with my daughter every step of the way.”

So far, Emily has undergone four major operations. Her lung operation took place at Great Ormond Street Hospital, 113 miles away from home. During this time Nicol was supported by The Sick Children’s Trust which gave her a place to stay for free at its ‘Home from Home’ Guilford Street House.

As a new decade begins, The Sick Children’s Trust is focusing on supporting even more families with seriously ill children in hospital with a place to stay and friendly ear to listen.  Over the last ten years, the charity has supported 33,749 families across its ten ‘Homes from Home’, one of which is Emily’s. Jane Featherstone, Chief Executive of The Sick Children’s Trust, said: 

“We are over the moon to hear how well Emily is doing and we’re not surprised to see her taking the world by storm!

“Emily’s family is one in over 33,000 families we have given a place to stay in the last ten years alone. We believe that if a child has their family by their side it helps aid their recovery and supports the well-being of the family. As this month marks the start of a new decade, we are pledging to continue to be there for more families who find themselves with a seriously ill child in hospital, giving them one less thing to worry about.”

After a well-deserved rest over Christmas, Emily is looking forward to getting back to school and training for her next accolade. Talking about her achievements, Karate Instructor Sensei Jake Pointer, added:

“Emily is a pleasure to teach and just exudes happiness and joy to everyone around her. She is always hardworking and is doing fantastically well in her weekly training sessions. She has also had great success in her karate grading, where she has passed both times with flying colours. Although we know Emily finds some things more difficult than others, she never complains or gives up. She is a brilliant little girl and a testament to her loving supportive family.”

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