Boyzone and TV star Keith Duffy took time out from his busy schedule to visit a teenage girl recovering on Stepping Hill Hospital’s spinal ward.

Keith interrupted rehearsals from his upcoming BZ20 world tour, flying straight from Dublin to visit 17 year old Sophie Spencer in the Stockport hospital.

Sophie was involved in a serious road accident in September which left her with a spinal injury. She has been treated on a specialist spinal ward for five weeks.

Keith, who played Ciaran McCarthy in Coronation Street for many years, is a close friend of the Spencer family. He was keen to offer his support, as well as thank the Stepping Hill staff for taking good care of his young friend.

Sophie said, “I’ve been telling Keith about the ward staff who have been absolute stars. It was a really scary time when I arrived on the ward, but they managed to reassure me straight away. They have been keeping brilliant care of me ever since and I’d like to say a huge thank you.”

The specialist D4 spinal ward is only 18 months old, and has 24 staff looking after over 900 patients a year. They carry out spinal operations and manage spinal recovery and treatment. Since the ward was set up the average length of stay has reduced from five days to just 36 hours.

The ward has an excellent record for longer term patients like Sophie, with a 100% rehabilitation success rate for its operations.