Manchester

Samantha Smith: Rochdale mum's delayed neurosurgery goes ahead

Samantha Smith
Image caption Ms Smith said she was "feeling positive" after her surgery

A mother whose neurosurgery was put on hold by her bank when she tried to pay doctors in the US has had the operation.

Samantha Smith, 32, travelled from Rochdale to Arizona last month to rebuild her neck which has been weakened by Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome.

It was postponed after Barclays blocked a £250,000 transfer despite being told about it in advance, she said.

Speaking from her hospital bed, she said: "It hurts... so I must be alive."

Ms Smith was diagnosed with the rare connective tissue disorder in 2017 which has left her neck muscles too weak to hold her head upright without the use of a neck brace, putting pressure on her brain stem.

The surgery to fuse bones in her spine is not offered or funded by the NHS so she raised the money to travel 5,000 miles to the Mayo Clinic for surgery.

Image copyright Samantha Smith
Image caption Ms Smith was diagnosed with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome in 2017

In a video posted on her Save Samantha Facebook page, she said she was "feeling positive" and thanked everyone for their support.

Her father Phil who filmed it said the family was "a lot more positive with the way things are going", adding she was hoping to take her first steps later.

He said: "All in all, fingers crossed (still early [days]) Samantha's future looks brighter."

Image copyright Samantha Smith
Image caption Ms Smith thanked everyone for their support

Barclays earlier blocked a transaction as she was attempting to pay pre-surgery costs.

A bank spokesman said at the time it had a duty of care to check unusual transactions with its customers and it was trying to resolve the matter.

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