Lisa's life saving surgeries

Lisa is in urgent need of pioneering surgeries and rehabilitation in the USA.

In September 2007, Lisa’s life was put at risk following a surgical rupture to her spinal cord membranes during an L5/S1 discectomy procedure at a Cardiff hospital.  The injury led to an intensive loss of cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) and the development of a giant, tense lumbar pseudomeningocele (abnormal sac of CSF) that entrapped her spinal cord and nerve roots. 

A giant pseudomeningocele is considered to be a rare event following a CSF leak, and in 2018, there were only 28 reported cases in the neurosurgical literature (Enke et al).

Lisa underwent two major reconstructive repairs of her spinal membranes but her health continued to deteriorate without adequate medical explanation.  Post-surgery, Lisa faced discrimination, neglect and abandonment from both NHS and private consultants.  Senior UK neurosurgeons deliberately withheld medical information in an attempt to protect negligent colleagues and conceal accountability.  Lisa has not been perceived as a human being with genuine suffering since the surgical injury and her health subsequently deteriorated into multiple, rare neurological disorders.  

Lisa and her family were forced to raise tens of thousands of pounds and travel to both Europe and the USA in order to obtain a definitive diagnosis and treatment plan.  As a family, we have endured years of despair and anguish trying piece together the devastation that the surgical injury has caused.  Lisa has so far endured a 12.5 year journey of debilitating physical pain and deterioration without any support from the UK medical system. 

In April 2019, Lisa consulted with a specialist Neurosurgical Team in New York and was finally offered a definitive diagnosis and treatment plan.  Diagnoses include:

·       Adhesive Arachnoiditis - An irreversible and progressive inflammatory disease of the arachnoid membrane of the thecal sac.  It causes spinal cord and nerve damage.

·       Cranio-Cervical Instability – Structural instability of craniocervical junction that compresses the brain stem, upper spinal cord & cerebellum.  The instability was likely caused by infection and/or weakening of the spinal connective tissue.

·       Jugular Vein Stenosis – Bilateral jugular veins are compressed and this obstructs blood from leaving the brain and returning to the heart. 

·       Dural Sinus Stenosis –Significant narrowing in the channels that drain blood from the brain into the internal jugular veins.

·       Intracranial Hypertension - High CSF pressure in and around the brain and the spinal cord.

·       Dural Ectasia - An enlargement of the dural sac surrounding the spinal cord caused by a weakening of the connective tissue following the surgical injury.

·       A Secondary Tethered Spinal Cord - This condition fixes the cord to the spinal canal and causes irreversible, progressive damage to the spinal cord and nerves.

The majority of the neurosurgical treatments and multidisciplinary care that Lisa requires is NOT available on the NHS.  Also, Lisa was not born with an inherited connective tissue disorder that could otherwise explain her current illness.  Her physical deterioration over the years is a direct result of the surgical injury - so we should NOT be expected to raise £300,000 to surgically rectify a multi-complex illness that was caused by, and left to deteriorate, into rare neurological disorders by senior UK consultants. 

Lisa’s campaign is to legally force the Welsh Government to pay for her surgical treatments but if you would like to donate towards her travel, accommodation and other expenses, we would be most grateful.  

Thank you for your generosity and support. Any amount or just good wishes means a lot to us. 

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                                       THANK YOU- Lisa, Nick and Marion. 


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Nick Llewellyn 
Cardiff, WLS
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