Since announcing the success of my complex lifesaving craniocervical fusion neurosurgery on the 13th January in Washington D.C., I have been undergoing further clinical tests, X-rays and MRIs of my lumbar spine. The reason for this is that I have been experiencing differently-sourced neurological symptoms that are not linked with my first surgery or neck injuries.
These symptoms have been gradually increasing in severity for the past 10 months and noticeably more since my recent surgery. Unfortunately, this requires imminent further life-saving surgery in order to preserve my lower body motor and sensory functions. If left untreated, ultimately this will fundamentally threaten my quality of life. Should I experience a fall or trauma, there is a high risk that any part of my spinal cord could de-tether/disconnect which would cause permanent paralysis to my lower body.

I am therefore in URGENT NEED of a SECOND CRITICAL and equally costly LIFESAVING neurosurgery which is scheduled for Wednesday 17th February 2016 in Washington D.C. and will be carried out by the same neurosurgeon, Dr Fraser Henderson. The diagnoses given are that I have “Tethered Spinal Cord Syndrome” in my L1/L2 vertebrae and “Spina Bifida Occulta” of my S1 vertebra which means this bone was incompletely formed, resulting in an exposed and unprotected region of my spinal cord. Both diagnoses pose severe risks to the integrity of my spinal cord as it is being “over-stretched”, causing extreme neurological symptoms such as: weakness of lower limbs; numbness to my lumbar spine and lower limbs; burning sensation in palms of both hands; persistent headaches; a sensory neurogenic bladder dysfunction etc. Both diagnoses are related to my rare genetic disease, Ehlers Danlos Syndrome (EDS).

Consequently, I am reaching out to you all for a “Surgery #2” fundraising appeal which includes expenses for the surgery, hospital fees, medication, initial physiotherapy and hotel accommodation for the extended stay until April before I am allowed to return to the U.K.

My updated target goal is now £190,000. This total combines both “Surgery #1” and “Surgery #2” fundraising appeals for all expenses and additional necessary funds for my post-operative rehabilitation care back in the U.K. (physiotherapy, hydrotherapy, specialist consultations, medications etc.) for both my neck and now my lumbar spine that I will need for the rest of my life. Please donate here on my YouCaring medical crowdfunding site.

The surgery will include removing part of the back of L1 and L2 vertebrae bones in order to gain access to my spinal cord. They will then detach the filum terminale which is fibrous tissue connecting the bottom of my spinal cord with the coccyx vertebra and is causing an “anchoring” and “over-stretching” effect of my spinal cord. This should then “release” the stress on my spinal cord and prevent any further risk to my lower body motor and sensory functions thus allowing me to “get my life back”.  The surgery will finish with L1 and L2 vertebrae fusion to create stability. I am keen to resume my MSc Petroleum Geoscience degree at Imperial College, London and live life to the full.

Again, the surgery is extremely high risk, but thankfully I will be in the gifted hands of the world’s best EDS specialist neurosurgeon, Dr Fraser Henderson.

My family and I are extremely indebted to those who have donated thus far to what we believed would be the only surgery required (which I now refer to as my “Surgery #1” fundraising appeal).

Nonetheless, we now urgently face another life-threatening hurdle. As time is of the essence and my life-saving surgery is less than two weeks away, I am asking you to PLEASE CONSIDER DONATING to my “Surgery #2” fundraising appeal.  I will be forever grateful for your support in helping me through this most difficult time of my life.  Thank You!  

Please help by:

Donating Here: https://www.youcaring.com/laura-sylvester-483048

Like, Share & Spread the word: https://www.facebook.com/careforlaura/