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Factor Essex: Bromley student’s heart-warming tribute to brother with cerebral palsy

PUBLISHED: 15:00 22 November 2018

Jessica Packard-White from Romford singing You Light Up My Life at the Factor Essex semi-finals. Photo: LRB Media

Jessica Packard-White from Romford singing You Light Up My Life at the Factor Essex semi-finals. Photo: LRB Media

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A Bromley student has made it through to the finals of Factor Essex after singing an emotional tribute for her brother.

Jessica Packard-White, a student at the D&B Academy of Performing Arts in Bromley Road, continued to impress the judges of Factor Essex at the semi-finals which had the theme of All You Need is Love.

Factor Essex is a singing competition that mirrors the style of hit ITV show, The X Factor.

At the semi-finals Jessica, from Romford, sang LeAnn Rimes’ You Light Up My Life, as a tribute to her younger brother, Cameron Packard-White on Saturday, November 17.

While the 16-year-old singer was performing, a slide-show revealed a selection of pictures of Cameron when he was in the hospital as a baby and later as a young boy.

Jessica Packard-White from Romford has made it to the finals in Romford. Picture: Factor EssexJessica Packard-White from Romford has made it to the finals in Romford. Picture: Factor Essex

The heart-warming performance earned Jessica three golden buzzers and her route safely through to the Grand Final.

“[Cameron] was born prematurely and the doctors told us that he wouldn’t make it through the night,” said Jessica.

“He now has cerebral palsy but he’s still here 14 years later. He’s the happiest, funniest person I know.”

Proud mum, Kelly White added: “The whole building was in tears - it was very emotional. We worked on it together, Jessica picked the song herself and I helped her put the slide-show together.

“Jessica’s mentor, [Joe Fryd] let Cameron sit right next to her for the performance. Afterwards, everyone commented that it was brilliant.”

Factor Essex has seen various local artists rise to fame, such as Celebrity Big Brother champion and X Factor finalist Ryan Clark, along with The Voice Kids winner Jess Folley.

Jessica and the other contestants recorded the Factor Essex charity single, Fight Song, which will be released on Monday, November 26.

The single will help raise funds for the mental health charity, Mind.

Kelly added: “I know Jessica is stronger than she used to be as she’s more confident. Every week her mentor group gets together to rehearse. She’s made a lot of new friends and she’s always so excited.”

Jessica will next be performing at the Grand Final on Sunday, November 25 in The Civic Hall in Grays.

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