AN Eckington woman needs to raise £18,500 by tomorrow because additional surgery is planned.

We have previously reported the story of 20 year-old Antonia Payne-Cheney, ‘Tonia’, from Eckington, near Pershore, who has an acute form of Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, a rare connective tissue disorder.

Miss Payne-Cheney also suffers with complex secondary complaints, and these have caused her brain stem to be compressed and to have further gastro-intestinal failure.

The pressure is now back on #TeamTonia to raise funds for Tonia’s next stage ‘Tethered Chord’ lower back surgery – to alleviate further debilitating symptoms – along with other tests and rehabilitation.

Victoria Cheney said: “We need to secure £18,500 by 7th June this week to fund this surgery and treatment and we are calling in all the favours possible.

"Beyond this week a further £10,000 will be needed by 21st June for rehabilitation costs.

"We have done so well, and in such a short time-frame, and we have cut costs where we can, with a voluntary paramedic team and donations in kind. However, I feel I still have a mountain to climb, whilst still being around as ,um for Tonia at her bedside”.

Sarah Grout, spokesperson for fundraising support group #TeamTonia, said: “We none of us in the group can quite believe what Tonia and Victoria have had to endure, emotionally, physically and medically, on this journey to receive appropriate treatment for Tonia, outside of the UK.

"That the financial resources to fund the surgery need to come from crowdfunding is a sad but necessary reflection of how Ehlers Danlos Syndrome is so poorly recognised as a condition.

"We have no hesitation in turning once again to the public to ask for support for this incredible young woman. Any parent in Victoria’s situation would do the same. All donations, of any size, are welcome.”

Diagnosed at the age of 14 and now fed through a tube and bedridden, Miss Payne-Cheney's plight was the focus earlier this year of the programme ‘DIY SOS’ which saw the BBC team transform Tonia’s home and enable her to leave hospital after three and a half years of hospital-stay.

Following an intense media and social media fundraising campaign Miss Payne-Cheney's mother, Victoria Cheney, and a small support group ‘#TeamTonia’, sourced just sufficient funds and a voluntary paramedic team to drive her by ambulance to hospital in Barcelona a week ago, where she is currently undergoing numerous tests in preparation for urgent life-saving surgery.

The specialist neuro, brain and spinal treatment and surgery is not available nor funded in the UK through the NHS. However,

The JustGiving page link is

Donations may be texted : TEXT : EHLE82£1 or EHLE82£5 or EHLE82£10 to 70070.