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Northumberland woman losing race against time for surgery gets £16k anonymous donation

Carrie Beckwith-Fellows is mainly bedridden and has problems speaking and remembering things Credit: Family photo

A woman desperately trying to raise funds for surgery that could transform her life has been given £16,000, with just days to spare before the deadline to gather enough cash to pay for the operation.

Two days ago Carrie Beckwith-Fellows was facing the prospect of cancelling the surgery to stabilise her neck and spine in Barcelona, that she believes would stop her from spending the rest of her life bedridden and with dementia like symptoms.

The 37-year-old still needs to raise £100,000 for a private operation that could help with some of the symptoms and complications of Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS).

The surgery had been booked for next month, but Carrie and her wife Lisa, from Kielder in Northumberland, were well behind on their fundraising target and had started to lose hope.

But a surprise donation of £16,500 from a kind stranger “out of the blue” transformed both their lives.

“We got a message from someone saying they would like to donate and asking for bank details...

“When I saw how much it was I told them they’d made a mistake, but they said that’s how much they wanted to donate.

“I can’t stop crying, it’s just such a huge weight that’s been lifted. We’re both so relieved.”

– Carrie Beckwith-Fellows
Carrie (left) and her wife Lisa Credit: Family photo

Carrie suffers from EDS - a genetic condition that weakens the connective tissues.

She has now developed a complication called Cranio-Cervical Instability that is causing her skull to sink into her spine.

Carrie’s EDS is now classed as life-limited.

The specialist neurosurgery they've been fundraising for will be carried out in Barcelona after the NHS said the couple were clinically unsuitable for the operation.

The NHS has said it WILL and DOES fund the procedure but only when they judge the positives and benefits to outweigh the risks.

The writer and blogger needs two operations, the first one being to fuse her skull and spine.

The second part of the surgery will release the spinal chord and fuse her lower spine.

Carrie still needs to raise £25,000 for the second surgery, but the £16,500 donation means she can definitely travel to Spain and have the first operation.

Carrie will travel to Spain next month for an operation to stabilise her neck and spine Credit: Family photo