Mum of Northumberland woman awaiting life-saving surgery taken ill in Spain

Molly Hartshorn has been taken ill with heart problems in Spain while her daughter waits for life-saving surgery. Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

The mum of a seriously ill woman has herself become sick while her daughter is awaiting treatment in Spain.

Molly Hartshorn is in Barcelona looking after her daughter Melanie Hartshorn, who is waiting for the second part of a life-saving operation to stabilise her spine.

The 33-year-old from Cramlington, who has Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, had the first part of an operation to secure her neck and spine in Barcelona last year.

She raised the money to pay for it, but after spending a long time in intensive care following the procedure, doctors told her she would need to wait to recover to have the operation completed in a second procedure.

  • Video report by Amy Lea in November

Mum Molly has now become unwell with heart problems, with medical experts telling her she may have to be admitted to hospital if medication does not help her improve.

Updating her followers on Facebook, Mel said it had been a "massively worrying" time.

She said: "It’s not been a good week for us here in Barcelona. I’ve been dislocating my thoracic spine non stop and in agony, and my mum is very unwell with her heart.

"The stress of knowing we need to raise around £70K in the next few weeks for surgery is taking a massive toll! She’s been suffering heart arrhythmias and going dizzy and breathless, and as she’s my sole carer, she’s exhausted."

She spent Christmas in an apartment in Spain where medical staff are on hand after being discharged from hospital, and initially felt "positive" abut 2023 - posting on Facebook that she hoped this would be the year she "got her life back".

Mel has been told the operation she needs to stabilise the rest of her spine is due to take place in the next two to three weeks.

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