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From The Operating Table To The Airwaves

Courtesy of Herring Family

Emylee Herring, of Denton, is one of 12 young people whose songs are being aired on Kiss FM (106.1) from now until May 4th. She’s competing in a music competition highlighting young artists in North Texas. Emylee is also in the final stages of recovery from a major surgery for scoliosis.

In 2011, a school nurse at Lake Dallas Middle School diagnosed Emylee with scoliosis in a routine screening exam. After following up with another doctor, Emylee's father, John Herring, was told his daughter needed surgery right away due to the severity of the curve in her spine.

“Had we not done the surgery, the curve would have gotten worse and started to affect her respiratory system,” he says. “There was no choice.”

Emylee’s parents began a search to find the best surgeon to perform the operation. They looked at hospitals across Texas, and even out of state. Eventually, Emylee landed on the operating table of Dr. Isador Lieberman, of the Texas Back Institute. 

Credit Courtesy of Herring Family.
Emylee Herring's song, "The Way," can be heard on Kiss FM until May 4th, 2013.

Lieberman, who specializes in scoliosis surgeries, performed a 9 hour operation with a specially designed surgical robot to increase precision and reduce the potential for nerve damage.

In less than a year, Herring says his daughter is “in excellent shape,” and has a “glow about her” -- especially since learning that her recorded song will be on the radio. Emylee’s song is about bullying.

You can check out the contest entries airing on Kiss FM here. You can also vote for the best micro music song. 

Quick Facts About Scoliosis

  • About 3 out of every 100 people have some form of scoliosis, though for many of them it's not much of a problem.
  • People of all ages have scoliosis, but it is most common in children age 10 to 12 and in their early teens. Girls are more likely than boys to have the most common type of scoliosis, called idiopathic scoliosis.
  • The appropriate treatment for scoliosis depends on the individual patient’s situation. It can involve regular observation, bracing, and sometimes surgery. 

To learn more about scoliosis, check out

Lauren Silverman was the Health, Science & Technology reporter/blogger at KERA News. She was also the primary backup host for KERA’s Think and the statewide newsmagazine  Texas Standard. In 2016, Lauren was recognized as Texas Health Journalist of the Year by the Texas Medical Association. She was part of the Peabody Award-winning team that covered Ebola for NPR in 2014. She also hosted "Surviving Ebola," a special that won Best Long Documentary honors from the Public Radio News Directors Inc. (PRNDI). And she's won a number of regional awards, including an honorable mention for Edward R. Murrow award (for her project “The Broken Hip”), as well as the Texas Veterans Commission’s Excellence in Media Awards in the radio category.