FRIENDS of an 11-year-old girl who needs a life-changing operation hope an event next month will raise a smile on her face.

Gulshat Kadyrova, known as Lily, was born with no hip sockets and came over to Oxford from Turkmenistan for a lifesaving operation.

But doctors also found the Cumnor schoolgirl had a severely curved spine and she now needs a £35,000 operation next year to fix the problem. Without it, the effects of the curvature will begin to crush her internal organs and make it difficult to breathe.

With fundraising only raising £3,000 to date, organisers hope an event next month will raise the all cash needed.

Organiser Colin Walsh said: “With one big push, we can make enough money to pull the whole thing around.

Gulshat currently has to wear a back brace 24 hours a day. But the operation to fuse her vertebrae together is not available on the NHS due to the conditions of her visa.

Friend Jennie du Vries said: “She has met a lot of people over her life and copes with whatever life throws at her.

“I never hear her complain about being in a brace even though I know it’s hard for her. Her most recent X-ray showed the condition is progressing fast and the spinal consultant said we need to make sure the operation happens in the next year.”

In 2006, Oxford Mail readers contributed £15,000 towards her first operation.

Gulshat has since raised £3,000 herself with a sponsored walk and swim for the second operation.

Her mother Bahar said: “She is so determined. It makes me so happy to see how far she has come.”

The event on September 30 will start with a debate at the Oxford Union before a black-tie dinner for 350 guests at Oxford Town Hall.

Visitors can enjoy “Gulshat cocktails” and a five-course meal, with singing waiters and the Oxford Classic Jazz Band.

There will then be a late-night dance with music from the Boulevard Swing Band.Tickets cost £100 and £5 for the dance.

* To buy a ticket, contact Colin Walsh at colinwalshasc @ gmail. com or 01865 421276, or John Morley on morley@ or 01865 864439.