Woman Who Can't Move Without Damaging Spine Raising £750,000 For Life-Saving Operation
A woman is hoping to raise £750,000 ($1m) for a life-saving operation, having been struck by a rare condition that means she cannot sit up without breaking her spine.
Jenny Rowbory, from Aberangell in Wales, suffers from Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, a connective tissue disorder that causes hyper-flexible joints.
As the connective tissue with her skull can dislocate by itself, and her vertebrae can snap out of place, 34-year-old Jenny has been bedridden for 15 years.
But now her family are trying to raise enough cash to send her to the United States for surgery - which won't come cheap.
Jenny's mum, Ann Rowbory, said: "Jenny is in screaming agony 24/7, but unable to scream.
"Her medical case is highly complex and beyond UK neurosurgeons' training or experience.
"Our fundraiser is her only chance to give her a world-class neurosurgeon who is very experienced with severe EDS patients."
The fundraising campaign - which stands at a total of more than £49,000 - will help pay for Medevac flights, which are the only way to safely transport Jenny.
The money will also fund the surgery itself, along with the intense rehabilitation she will need to recover.
Jenny cannot move even a millimetre without triggering a 'massive crack', as the vertebrae in her neck pull out of position.
Her parents - who are also her carers - said Jenny's condition is so fragile they had to use scissors to cut her out of her clothes.
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Ann continued: "Jenny recently had to go to A&E as vertebra in her neck moved and almost completely obstructed her airway.
"She stayed in hospital for five days and there was nothing the NHS could do for her."
Jenny underwent surgery in the UK back in January, in an attempt to correct her craniocervical instability and atlanto-axial instability - which causes her neck to fail to support her spine, and her skull to sink in on itself.
However, her parents say the surgery has left Jenny 'more disabled than ever', and she is now unable to move her head off her pillow.
Ann said: "Jenny can't be left like this. Every second is unbearable and she can't cope."
Jenny's condition has now deteriorated too much for her to communicate.
A few weeks ago, she tweeted: "I need help desperately. I'm so, so tired and weak now.
"Thank you to everyone who has donated so far. You've been so kind and generous. I'm very grateful.
"There's still such a long way to go. I don't want to die."
Writing on the GoFundMe page, Ann explained how Jenny has been unable to have her hair washed since January, as it's simply too dangerous to touch the back of her head.
"It's awful for her, and we wish we could help her, but we're just left helpless. It's hard not to be able to meet her basic needs because it would kill her," the post said.
A fundraising evening was streamed live on 29 November, featuring a host of stars including Oscar-winner Olivia Colman, Downton Abbey actor Matthew Goode and comedian Lee Mack.
The event was hosted by BBC Sport presenter Hugh Ferris.
You can find out more about Jenny's story and donate to her cause here.
Featured Image Credit: SWNS
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