Tyne & Wear

Melanie Hartshorn needs £60,000 for next spine operation

Melanie Hartshorn Image copyright Melanie Hartshorn
Image caption Melanie Hartshorn underwent surgery in Barcelona after well-wishers raised £100,000

A disabled woman who was able to sit up for the first time in years after undergoing surgery has said she needs a further procedure to stop her becoming paralysed

Melanie Hartshorn has Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome which causes her skull to sink into her spine.

Surgeons in Barcelona operated for nine hours to fuse her skull to her spine.

She is now attempting to raise a further £60,000 to fund a spinal operation.

Image copyright Melanie Hartshorn
Image caption Melanie Hartshorn said a further £60,000 is needed for another operation

The 27-year-old from Cramlington said on Facebook: "We knew my lower spine was a mess but the reality of how bad and dangerous it is was only clear during the surgery when they witnessed it dislocating and feared I'd suffer paralysis."

She said a "full fusion" operation should stop her becoming paralysed as well as reverse some symptoms such as pain and a dislocating spine.

Ms Hartshorn said: "This will mean I can sit up in a wheelchair for long periods again and get my life back, something I can't wait for."

She said the surgery is scheduled for 21 June.

Ms Hartshorn, who made headlines when she attended her graduation from Newcastle University lying down, said: "We have had to increase our target by £60,000 but have had an enormously generous donation of £33,000- so we are already over halfway there."

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