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Meeting a hockey star


Nine-year-old Emily Tuttle met her all-time favourite hockey player, Sidney Crosby, during a recent stay at the IWK hospital in Halifax. Crosby signed Emily's cast and Build A Bear birth certificate, which she had made just days prior to meeting the Pittsburgh Penguins star. Raissa Tetanish - Amherst Daily News

AMHERST - The highlight of Emily's Tuttle's 42-day hospital stay was meeting her favourite hockey player.

"There's no question about that one," the nine-year-old said about meeting Pittsburgh Penguins forward Sidney Crosby.

For six weeks, Emily and her family spent their days at the IWK hospital in Halifax while doctors tried to figure out what was causing osteomyelitis, a bone infection, in Emily's left leg.

"I was in three different rooms and had 14 different casts," said Emily, just days after being discharged from the hospital after doctors discovered a rare bacteria called Lactococcus lactis caused the bone infection.

It was during the hospital's opening of the new teen centre that Emily got to meet her star.

"All the nurses at the hospital know me. They came and told me Crosby was down in the teen lounge. They wouldn't let me in to the lounge because I'm not a teen yet."

For about an hour, Emily waited in the hallway along with her family - mother Jenn, father Rick, brothers Cameron and Cody, and grandmother Joanne.

"We were not leaving until we got to meet Sidney Crosby."

When she finally got to meet Crosby, she only had a few minutes before his security was trying to get him to move along.

"I told him about my guinea pigs," said Emily. "I have two - Sidney and Crosby - and they had a baby that I named Crosby Jr., or CJ."

The hockey player from Cole Harbour asked Emily how she was doing and held onto her foot while he signed her cast.

He then signed a birth certificate for Crosby, a Build A Bear that Emily made just a few days before with her grading money.

The cast with Crosby's signature is one of three hard casts Emily is keeping from her experience, and one she had no problem grabbing hold of.

"When they were taking it off my foot, they had it about halfway off and I grabbed it off my foot," she said, adding the staff wanted to keep the cast and put it in the orthopedic clinic.

Along with meeting Crosby, Emily was featured on the hospital's annual telethon during her stay.

Although Emily is now home from the hospital, she still has three months worth of intravenous antibiotics to be administered. She still has a cast on her leg and isn't able to put any weight on her foot.

Her family is hosting a karaoke fundraiser at Teazers on Friday, beginning at 8 p.m.

The event will feature a silent auction and 50/50 draws, as well as the karaoke.

Emily will be at the event until 9 p.m., and everyone, including children with their parents, is welcome to drop by.



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