Melanie thankful after key surgery in Barcelona

Melanie Hartshorn has returned home after another life-saving operation in Spain.

Monday, 12th August 2019, 7:16 pm
Updated Thursday, 15th August 2019, 4:04 pm
Melanie Hartshorn.
Melanie Hartshorn.

The Cramlington resident and her supporters successfully raised more than £150,000 for her to travel to Barcelona and have two operations in 2017.

This life-saving surgery was required as the result of having a severe form of Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS)‌, which caused all of her joints to dislocate, especially those in her spine and neck, and a severe case of craniocervical instability (CCI).

She was able to do many more things as a result of the surgery until her skull became unstable again, which Melanie says happened during an operation to repair torn knee cartilage.

However, the 29-year-old and her network of family and friends were able to raise the £80,000 needed in just over a month to return to Barcelona to get the complication fixed by the team that specialises in EDS cases.

In an update on her online fundraising page two weeks after the surgery in mid-July, she said that the team “had to place a new skull plate higher up the back of my skull and extend the fusion.

“All the neurological symptoms are vanishing and I’m feeling better each day and more like my old self.”

Speaking after returning home last Friday, she said: “I would just like to thank everyone for the tremendous support and donations to get me back to Barcelona again for emergency life-saving surgery after my fusion was broken.

“The surgery was a success and new bone grafts, screws and plates were used to allow the bone to fuse again over the next year.

“Now it’s a case of healing and trying to build my strength and muscles up again once it has healed.”

She added: “I’m looking forward to getting back on track.

“I’m having a birthday ball on August 30 at Kingston Park to raise money for post-op scans and aftercare, and to celebrate the success of my surgery and my 30th birthday.”

If you would like to attend the ball, you must purchase a ticket in advance at