A desperate mother is selling all her most valuable possessions to fund surgery to stop her becoming paralysed by a condition which is causing her head to crush her spine.
Kate McGinley, 35, was diagnosed with Ehlers Danlos Syndome (EDS) in January which affects the connective tissue between bones, organs, ligaments and skin.
The mother of one from Pontneathvaughn, South Wales, has been left bedbound, forced to walk with a stick and wear a collar, as the condition means she is unable to support the weight of her head which is crushing her neck and spinal cord.
But since surgery for EDS patients is not yet covered by the NHS, Kate has resorted to selling her car, engagement rings and designer handbags in a bid to raise the £35,000 needed to have the operation privately.
Kate McGinley, 35, (pictured in hospital) was diagnosed with Ehlers Danlos Syndome (EDS) in January
EDS affects the connective tissue between bones, organs, ligaments and skin and means the mother is unable to support the weight of her head which is crushing her neck and spinal cord. Pictured: A scan of Kate’s brain
Kate first started noticing the signs of EDS after the birth of her son Alexander, six, (pictured together) with husband, Clark, 46, in 2015
She said: ‘If my condition is left untreated I could end up paralysed.
‘I often have to use a stick and wear a collar because my neck can’t support my head and my brain is being pulled down by my spine which is effectively crushing my neck internally.
‘It feels like my husband has effectively lost his wife and my son has lost his mum.
‘I can’t do housework or go out for long, I’m bed bound most of the time and when I can get up all I can manage is a couple of hours on my feet before the fatigue and pain sets in.
‘I’m desperate to get my life back and material possessions are just that.
‘I’m selling anything and everything I can from Michael Kors handbags to my car and my engagement rings.
The mother of one has begun selling off her possessions (pictured) to raise £35,000 so she can afford the surgery privately
The mother of one from Pontneathvaughn, South Wales, has been left bedbound, forced to walk with a stick and wear a collar (pictured)
‘If it means I can pick my son up and get my life back, that’s priceless to me.’
The married mother first started noticing the signs of EDS after the birth of her son Alexander, six, with husband, Clark, 46, in 2015, including fainting, going temporarily blind, temporary paralysis, fatigue, headaches, joint pain and dislocations.
But despite getting private health care through her job as a clinical trials manager, Kate was misdiagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and was even advised to see a psychiatrist before she finally got a diagnosis five years later.
Now, she needs an operation to place metal rods and screws in her spine and a metal plate in her skull to strengthen her spinal cord and protect her brain stem.
There are currently no NICE guidelines for surgical treatment of EDS, the operation is not covered by the NHS.
The surgery needed to treat her condition costs £35,000 and is not yet available on the NHS. Pictured: Kate with son Alex and husband Clark (left) and with son and their dog (right)
Kate (pictured undergoing tests in hospital) needs an operation to place metal rods and screws in her spine and a metal plate in her skull to strengthen her spinal cord and protect her brain stem
As her degenerative condition gets worse everyday, Kate hopes to raise £10,000 by selling her own possessions but has set up a GoFundMe in a bid to gather the further £25,000 she needs to have surgery as soon as possible.
Kate said: ‘Ehlers Danlos Syndrome is one of the most underfunded and under researched conditions in medical history, despite it being quite common.
‘At the moment the surgery is considered experimental because there are no guidelines for treating EDS but until the research is done and presented to NICE, there will be no guidelines, it’s a vicious circle.
‘Having the surgery would mean everything to me, this condition has already taken so much.’
People can donate to Kate’s campaign via her GoFundMe page.