TWIN LAKE, Mich. -- A little girl who can't speak and is confined to a wheelchair has made one thing very clear to her family: her love for Luke Bryan.
Nine-year-old Elly Welch has an incurable condition called Prayder Willi syndrome . She was diagnosed before she was born and while she can't speak, her love for the country music artist comes across loud and clear.
It's safe to say, while Elly is the light of her family's life, the light of Elly's life, is Luke Bryan.
They discovered her love for Bryan when Elly was just 3 years old.
"We had these communication buttons," Elly's mom, Jennifer Richards, said. “She would hit Luke Bryan, and so we would play his song."
When Luke Bryan comes on, Elly gets moving.
“Her favorite song is 'That’s My Kind of Night,'” Richards said.
Make no mistake, it's Luke Bryan specifically this little girl loves.
“Some people are like, does she understand? Is she in there? She’s in there. She knows. She knows what she likes; her likes and dislikes,” Richard says.
Other artists simply don't get the same reaction from Elly.
“She starts dancing and smiling,” Richards said.
Elly wasn't supposed to make it to 9 years old.
“They said they’d be lucky if she gets to 1, but she’s proven them wrong. We’ve had to prove some doctors wrong,” Richards said.
And she says it's lucky they found Elly's love for Luke. One time, in the hospital, Elly was in bad shape with all of her numbers dropping.
“The nurse is like, let's put Luke Bryan on. She put Luke Bryan on and her numbers jumped right up. She was like 'tricked ya, got ya!” Richards said.
Richards says Elly is more than just her daughter.
“A lot of people don’t get to meet their heroes. I’m a lucky one I say, because I gave birth to my hero,” Richards said.
Now, the family is hoping Elly can meet her hero at Luke's concert Friday night. They'll be there in Richland.
They know this is a long shot, but it would mean a lot to this family and even more to this little girl. They just want Luke to know how much his music means to them.