Save my daughter first, says sick mum
PAIR NEED IDENTICAL OP
THIS loving mum has made a heartbreaking sacrifice to give her daughter a chance at life.
Over the past few years, Janine Gray and her teenage daughter Ellie have been left virtually housebound by the same condition.
The pair, from East Boldon, live their lives “between the bed and the sofa” due to the debilitating symptoms of Ehlers Danlos Syndrome (EDS) – a rare condition which causes the joints to dislocate.
Janine, 48, and Ellie, 18, both need surgery to improve mobility, alleviate the agonising symptoms and stop them deteriorating further.
Ellie’s rare complications mean there are currently no neurosurgeons in the UK who can treat her, but both mother and daughter have been handed a lifeline by surgeons in Barcelona who have agreed to take on their case.
But, in an act of maternal love, Janine has decided to forego fundraising for her own operation and focus entirely on her Melanie Hartshorn has had the same lifesaving surgery Ellie is hoping for daughter’sd h ’ bid f for a h healthierl hi lif life. Wh When Ellie stopped being able to digest food in January, Janine and husband Neil, 50, knew they had to act fast to stop her suffering irreversible damage.
The teenager is booked in to have the surgery on September 28 in Barcelona but, so far, the family have raised just over a third of the £94,000 needed for the treatment.
It is the same surgery recently undergone by Cramlington’s Melanie Hartshorn, 27, who made headlines when the treatment allowed her to sit up for the first time in years.
Janine said she “can’t even think about” having her own operation at the moment.
“This means far more to me, she said.
“It’s one thing doing this for yourself but to see my daughter going through this is really awful.
“I want her to have opportunities. Her friends have all passed their A Levels and it’s heartbreaking to see her just held back.
“Her quality of life is just horrendous – she’s confined to bed and the sofa.”
Ellie was an active 12-year-old who loved school, rode horses and swam three times a week when she was diagnosed with a “Chiari malformation” – where the lower part of the brain extends into the spinal canal.
The news came just months after Janine was diagnosed with the same condition. The pair were diagnosed with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome (EDS), a rare condition, which causes the joints to dislocate.
Janine has been forced to retire early from a career she loved as a doctor of medical statistics at Leeds University.
And Ellie, whose symptoms are even worse than her mum’s, lives most of her life lying down to relieve the constant head pain and dizziness.
A further deterioration this year has led to severe gastroparesis, which means she is unable to digest much food and vomits daily.
To help Ellie, go to just4children.org/ children-helped2017/ellies-fusion JANINE GRAY Janine Gray and daughter Ellie, who both have same debilitating condition