Report by Amy Lea
A 31 year old woman from Northumberland is recovering and looking forward to the future again after life saving surgery in Spain.
Melanie Hartshorn has Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, or EDS. It's a genetic condition that causes weakness in the connective tissue.
She was unable to sit upright due to her neck and spine being critically unstable. This caused fits, blackouts, nausea and intense pain.
This is the fourth time Mel has been to Barcelona for surgery to fuse parts of her spine to make it more stable.
The operation this time required a period in intensive care for the first part of her recovery, but she is now sitting up for 45 minutes at a time and reporting that many of her symptoms from before have now gone.
Her spine is now fused from her skull to her waist, and she will move to nearby apartments in Barcelona to continue her recovery before flying home.
Mel and her Mum Molly were given special permission to fly to Spain for the operation and had to take COVID tests before beginning their journey.
The total cost of the surgery is estimated to be around £90,000 which she is still fundraising to pay.
Mel is now looking forward to coming home to a new wheelchair, a full caring team, and her COVID vaccine.
In the future she wants to return to teacher training and spend time baking and playing with her niece.