Mum of Cramlington woman Melanie Hartshorn issues urgent plea for help to pay for life-saving operation

Melanie Hartshorn and her mum Molly.Melanie Hartshorn and her mum Molly.
Melanie Hartshorn and her mum Molly.
Time is running out for a Northumberland woman who needs to raise £64,000 for critical surgery.

Melanie Hartshorn, 32, suffers from a rare condition known as Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS), which causes very flexible joints and stretchy and fragile skin.

The condition also causes her skull to dislocate from her neck and spine, so she is unable to sit up and spends almost all of her time lying down.

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She wears a surgical halo 24/7 but this is not a permanent solution and if she does not undergo complex surgery next month, costing £100,000, she says she will die as she will no longer be able to breathe.

Her mum Molly issued a desperate plea for donations this week, saying without the cash she could lose her daughter.

She said: “We only have only three weeks to raise the remaining £64,000 to save Mel’s life.

"My daughter has been through a very tough time. She is always optimistic and smiling, but deep down she is very frightened and worried.

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"It is heart breaking to see Mel deteriorate before my eyes.”

Molly added her daughter had gone from being “very social and out and about three to four times a week” to barely being able to leave the house more than once a week.

She added: “Mel spends all day and night in her bed, lying on her back – she eats, sleeps and washes flat on her back in bed.

“She doesn't complain at all but I know in the dark of night she does get upset about her terrible situation.”

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The surgery Melanie is hoping to raise enough money for will seek to fuse her spine through her throat and chest.

A surgeon in Barcelona has agreed to do it on October 4 – the procedure has not been approved in the UK – but it will only take place if the family can raise the money in time.

In a final plea to the News Post Leader, Molly said: “I know that a lot of people have donated to help Mel in the past, but now the situation is dire, absolutely life threatening, and I beg your readers as Mel's mam to please try to help her again.”

To donate to the appeal, go online at