My name is Emma Carvell, and I need your help. I used to be a makeup artist, working on films and photo shoots, but I had to give up my career. At the age of 32, I am unable to work, instead, I spend most of my time in bed in a darkened room. I suffer from ME (myalgic encephalomyelitis), a condition which causes profound exhaustion that is not helped by rest, and hypermobile EDS (Ehlers Danlos Syndrome), a condition which means my connective tissue isn’t strong enough to hold my joints and organs in place like it should. I can only walk very short distances, and need a wheelchair to leave the house. 

I have been diagnosed with craniocervical instability and atlantoaxial instability. This happens frequently in EDS sufferers - the ligaments holding up the neck and skull become too lax, putting pressure on the brainstem. This causes me to suffer distressing symptoms such as -

-Double vision
-Slurred speech
-Breathing problems
-Visual disturbance (like looking through a kaleidoscope)
-Neck pain
-Tingling and numbness in my neck, arms and hands.

The top specialist surgeon in Europe has told me I need surgery to fuse my neck and skull, to stabilise the bones and prevent the symptoms. The NHS rarely provides this specialist surgery, meaning I need to raise £65000 to pay for surgery with Dr Gilete in Barcelona, one of the few surgeons in the world with the skill and expertise to carry out such surgery on EDS patients.

It is theorised that in some cases, craniocervical instability can be the cause of ME. Severe ME sufferers have had their ME go into full remission after this surgery. If there’s any chance whatsoever I could have my life back, I have to take it. Without surgery, I will continue to get worse. I’m already having trouble breathing and swallowing, and my headaches are getting more severe. Untreated, this could lead to seizures and even death. I need this surgery as soon as possible. So I’m pleading, please donate whatever you can to my surgery fund, and share this page on social media. I’m counting on this, it’s my only hope.

Thank you,



Breakdown of funds needed - 

Surgery - €68650

Accommodation - €3135 

Travel - £500