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Melanie arrives back in the UK to start new life

WATCH: Our reporter Amy Lea who followed Melanie to Spain, visits her at home as she returns to the North East to continue her recovery

Mel travelled home on a medi-flight from Barcelona to Newcastle Credit: Melanie's Mission To Live/ Facebook

Melanie Hartshorn is home after spending almost two months in Spain having life changing spinal surgery.

The 27-year-old from Cramlington has had her neck and upper spine fused as well as her lower spine to help with complications caused by Ehlers Danlos Syndrome.

She was operated on by a specialist team in Barcelona.

She is now facing a long recovery as she builds up her strength but says she is so excited as the prospect of being able to sit up in a wheelchair and take her niece to the park.

Mel had spent the past almost 5 years of her life lying down completely bed bound after complications from her genetic condition Ehlers Danlos Syndrome.

Mel and her niece back home and reunited Credit: Melanie's Mission To Live

ITV Tyne Tees recently went out to Barcelona to spend time with Melanie Hartshorn as she recovers from a major operation to fuse her neck and her spine together.

We first met Mel when she graduated from Newcastle University, collecting her degree on a stretcher.

She says her wish is that others are inspired by her story and that it provides hope for anyone else living with a serious condition or disability.

Without this operation she was at risk of death as her neck and spine were so unstable she was in danger of ‘internally decapitating’,suffering irreversible damage to he spinal cord.

She raised over £90,000 – mainly from fundraising events organised from her bedroom to pay for the procedure.

What is Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome?

  • There are different types of EDS.
  • It's a genetic condition.
  • Here are some of the symptoms:
  • Fragile skinStretchy skinJoint hypermobility including dislocations and chronic joint pain.Easy bruisingFragile and extensible tissue

Reunited with my niece AT LAST! & my goodness I've missed her!

She gave me this card with a drawing of her and Aunty Mel in the wheelchair, and says she "can't wait to bake with me and go to the park in my wheelchair and she's going to sit on my knee.." ....

So no sooner said than done ? - we have just been to the park, in my wheelchair and she sat on my knee the whole journey there and back! ?

– Melanie's Mission To Live/Facebook/Melanie Hartshorn