Lancashire woman to get life-saving surgery after generosity of Granada Reports viewers

ITV Granada Reports journalist Mel Barham spoke to Lauren about the astonishing act of genorosity that could change her life forever.

The family of a woman who has a rare condition which means her jaw is locked shut are celebrating after strangers helped them raise thousands for life-changing surgery.

Lauren Bolton, from Rossendale, Lancashire, lives in constant pain and is unable to eat solid food.

Without urgent surgery her family fear her health will continue to deteriorate.

In a last-ditch attempt the 29-year-old’s family set up a fundraising page in the hope of raising money for private surgery to replace her jaw joint - which prompted a local businessman to step forward and offer help.

The anonymous man told Lauren if she could raise just over half the £95,000 needed for the surgery, he would donate the rest.

After describing the impact of the condition on ITV Granada Reports, Lauren then watched as donations increased to £61,000 in just a few days.

Lauren Bolton is unable to eat solid food because her jaw is 'locked closed' Credit: ITV Granada

Lauren said: "I'm just blown away with everyone's kindness. Everyone who shared, everyone who's messaged. I've read those messages more than once."

The local businessman reached out to Lauren's father, Paul Bolton, to help.

Paul said: "He just said they'd sat there and watched it and he said he was really touched by our story.

"He just said to his wife, 'We need to help that lass'."

The businessman, who wishes to remain anonymous, promised that if Lauren's fundraiser reached £55,000 he will pay the remainder of the fees.

Paul said: "I just want to give him a big cuddle. He reminds me of my Grandad. Just a lovely, lovely, bloke."

Lauren's Dad Paul was in tears when the mystery businessman promised to pay for around half of Lauren's medical bills.

Lauren has late stage Temporomandibular Joint Disease (TMD) which has damaged her jaw joint and her only option is a full replacement.

But it is a procedure so complex, only a handful of surgeons can do it and most are private.

On the NHS Lauren is looking at a wait of almost four years for the surgery. which her family fear she will not survive and are worried about the impact of her weight loss on her organs.

Now, a possible end to Lauren's suffering is in sight.

She said: "It's actually starting to feel real now that I might not be living like this for the next four years.

"For so long, my life has been on hold. I have not been able to plan ahead... To get this surgery would just open so many doors."

Since ITV Granada's report on Lauren's condition, she's received money and support both online, in person, and even through the post.

One viewer, Sue Cook from Congleton, wanted to help Lauren but was unable to donate to the online fundraiser.

Sue Cook's letter to Lauren and her family.

Instead, she sent a £10 cheque to Rawtenstall's post office, hoping they could get it to Lauren.

Along with the cheque was a letter, which reads: "Wish it could be more... However I hope it everyone watching will donate to get you the operation you need."

The local post office got in touch with Lauren, and she's now received the cheque and letter.

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