Fundraising restarted for Samantha Smith’s third surgery abroad

Date published: 21 May 2018

Following two unsuccessful surgeries to stop her neck dislocating, Samantha Smith has revealed she has to undergo a third extensive and aggressive operation that will restrict all movement in her head and neck.

The Smithy Bridge psychotherapist recently travelled to Barcelona, meeting with a specialist, where she was given the devasting news that she will require yet another operation not available in the UK, estimated to cost approximately £100,000.

Rochdale Online has closely followed mother-of-two Samantha’s journey since April 2017, when we broke the news of her desperate race to raise £150,000 for lifesaving neurosurgery, after her brain and spinal cord were being crushed under the weight of her own skull, due to a number of medical conditions such as Ehlers Danlos Syndrome (EDS) a genetic disorder where connective tissue holding the body together is faulty and too weak, unstable vertebrae and lack of connective tissue support between her skull and spine.

Samantha underwent two lifesaving operations over the summer, but despite a high success rate, the surgeries failed to stabilise her upper vertebrae and head as expected.

There is also the devastating possibility the mother-of-two, whose joints still continue to dislocate all over her body, will require a full spinal fusion, further removing all movement from her spine, head and neck.

As a result, the Save Samantha appeal, started by Sam and her friends and family, is hoping to raise as much as possible in preparation for the inevitable operations.

Samantha, who processes pain medication far too quickly for it to have any effect due to EDS, said: “The surgeon wants to operate next month. A revision and larger, more ‘aggressive’ fusion which will take all movement from my head and neck. My body has not responded to last years’ surgeries in the way we had hoped.

“Due to the unstable condition of my vertebrae and scoliosis, there is a likelihood that my spine will collapse following this surgery. 

“It is ‘likely’ that I will have to progress to a full spinal fusion to stabilise my neurological issues. This will take all movement from my spine, head and neck. We do not know how long we will have between surgeries. I hear the words ‘likely’ and I know it is not definitive. I hear hope.

“I have been told without the stabilisation and aggressive neurosurgeries, that my quality of life will continue to decline at the fast rate it has since January.”

She added: “For now, the focus is on raising the funds to enable to best chances for the future, holding onto hope, not fear and squeezing as much laughter and silliness into each day as my body will allow.”

To donate, visit:


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Name: Save Samantha 
Account No: 90266248
Sort Code: 20-45-45

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