Kirsty’s special birthday surprise

Our picture shows Kevin Horkin with Kirsty Howard and Chris Tarrant. (s)
Our picture shows Kevin Horkin with Kirsty Howard and Chris Tarrant. (s)
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CLITHEROE businessman Kevin Horkin joined television presenter Chris Tarrant to wish young charity figurehead Kirsty Howard happy birthday.

Millionaire businessman Mr Horkin, the founder of Spex Opticians, joined the popular television star who presents “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” to celebrate Kirsty’s 16th birthday.

Mr Horkin is patron and fund-raiser for the charity, the Kirsty Club, of which Kirsty is figurehead and which raises funds for the St Francis House Children’s Hospice, Didsbury, Manchester.

Kirsty, who was awarded the prestigious Diana Award for being an inspirational role model after raising £5m for Francis House Children’s Hospice, was born with her heart back to front – a condition so rare there was not even a name for it.

At the age of four, her parents were told she had just six weeks to live. Incredibly, that prognosis remains the same today. But she continues to defy all the medical odds and has picked up a host of celebrity supporters along the way.

“Kirsty was absolutely thrilled that Chris kept the date to help us celebrate her 16th birthday party,” said Mr Horkin.

He explained that Chris had kindly taken to the stage to take on the role of auctioneer during the charity auction.

“A fantastic night was had by all. Chris even led the singing in a rendition of Sweet 16,” Mr Horkin added.