Former Upminster pupil battling pain needs help to raise 160k for US surgeries

Natasha Silverman, 29, who suffers from EDS, has to wear a neck brace to prevent her neck from dislo

Natasha Silverman, 29, who suffers from EDS, has to wear a neck brace to prevent her neck from dislocating - Credit: Archant

A 29-year-old woman, who is suffering from a rare inherited condition, which causes her “intolerable” pain is appealing for help to raise thousands of pounds for a series of operations, which could change her life.

Natasha Silverman before she was diagnosed with EDS

Natasha Silverman before she was diagnosed with EDS - Credit: Archant

Natasha Silverman, a former Gaynes School pupil, in Upminster, hopes to raise £60,000 to contribute towards the £160,000 fee to receive three neurosurgeries in the US.

Natasha, who has recently moved to west London, suffers from an aggravated form Ehlers–Danlos syndrome (EDS), which causes the body to produce defective connective tissue, which holds the spine, muscles, skin and organs together.

This causes the strangulation of her spinal chord, while her cervical spine is so unstable she needs to wear a neck brace to prevent her neck from dislocating.

She is increasingly reliant on a wheelchair and using a ventilator to breath.


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“I am so desperate for pain relief and control of my many symptoms that I am having to take medications known to potentially induce sudden death in people with this condition. It’s like having to play Russian roulette with my own life, but I have no option at this point,” she told the Recorder.

“The likelihood is that my life will be shortened by complications of EDS, and I am frightened that it might kill me before I have raised enough money for surgery,” she added.

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Natasha was diagnosed with EDS at the age of 23 after years of complaining from back pains.

There are no EDS specialised neurosurgeons in the UK, who would operate on Natasha to stabilise her condition.

Determined to lead a normal life, Natasha has recently graduated with a first in her law degree despite her health severely deteriorating in the last year.

Admitting she nearly gave up several times, she said her dream of becoming a lawyer kept her going through the pain. “It was a constant battle but I’ve never been so determined about anything.”

Looking into the future, Natasha would like to go back to her childhood passion of dancing and horse-ridding and she hopes to start a family.

If you would like to help Natasha, visit here.

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