Cramlington woman Mel Hartshorn due back home after months in Spain for 'miracle' surgery

With surgeon Petra before flying home
Melanie Hartshorn, pictured with her surgeon Petra, has been given the all-clear to go home. Credit: Facebook/Melanie's Mission to Live

A woman who has undergone life-saving surgery in Spain is due to fly back to the UK following months of treatment.

Melanie Hartshorn, from Northumberland, has been in Barcelona since October, when she had the first stage of an operation to stabilise her neck.

The Cramlington woman has Ehlers Danlos Syndrome and complications from the condition - which causes weakness and hyper mobility in the joints - mean she has suffered for years with seizures, nausea, dizziness and pain.

She has been unable to sit up and spent what is believed to be the longest time in the world for a patient wearing a medical halo - a device to keep her neck and spine stable.

Since travelling for the treatment, she has had a number of setbacks, and had to have the surgery in two stages.

That has meant she has had to spend longer in hospital and had the second part of the operation in February.

The 33-year-old has now been given the all-clear to fly home and is due to arrive back in the UK on Saturday 18 March.

In a post on social media, where she has been keeping her followers up to date on her progress, she hailed her surgeons and said it was "a miracle" she had survived two "risky and revolutionary" surgeries.

She said: "We achieved the goal of saving my life, being able to live without a surgical halo screwed into my skull, which I'd been stuck in for 18 months.

"Now I'm able to sit up, move both legs, feet and arms independently, my heart arrhythmias and other neurological symptoms are markedly improved, and the most exciting part is I’m still early in recovery - so hopefully there’s even more improvements yet to come!"

She is still raising money for her medical care, the costs of which has spiralled due to complications.

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