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Plymouth lady had 24 operations on her dislocating joints


A mother-of-two has been undergone 24 operations to repair her dislocating joints due to a singular genetic commotion that even caused her kidney to detach itself.

Rebecca Hempsell’s, 40, from Plymouth, condition affects a junction hankie that supports her skin, bones, blood vessels and other organs.

Ms Hempsell, a former primary propagandize teacher, has undergone 24 operations to compound her dislocated joints behind together and has to take 40 tablets a day.

Although she has dislocated her shoulder, knee, pelvis and feet, Ms Hempsell says many don’t know her ‘invisible illness’ and credit her of lying.

Her condition, famous as Ehlers-Danos syndrome, affects usually one in 5,000 people worldwide.

Rebecca Hempsell, from Plymouth, has undergone 24 operations on her dislocating joints


Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS) is a name for a organisation of singular hereditary conditions that impact a junction tissue.

Connective tissues yield support in skin, tendons, ligaments, blood vessels, inner viscera and bones. 

Different forms of EDS are caused by faults in certain genes that make junction hankie weaker.

Depending on a form of EDS, a inadequate gene competence have been hereditary from one paren, or both.

Sometimes a inadequate gene isn’t inherited, though occurs spontaneously.

EDS can impact people in opposite ways. For some a condition is comparatively mild, while for others their symptoms can be disabling.

Some of a singular serious forms can even be life-threatening.

Source: NHS Direct

Ms Hempsell said: ‘It’s mostly suspicion by someone who knows of Ehlers-Danos syndrome that we usually disturb all of a time.

‘I do, though we also humour from mixed inner problems since of it.

‘I have pain all a time and there’s days where we don’t wish to get up. I’m a really crafty chairman though we can’t always be.

‘There’s days we wish we didn’t have this though a reason we have such a certain opinion is since I’ve seen so many people give in and they get worse. we won’t ever give in.’

She added: ‘When you’re vital with an invisible illness, we can be in a wheelchair one day and usually with a hang a next.

‘It mostly means people consider you’re creation it up.

‘There are also many other syndromes that run alongside it though these change severely from chairman to chairman and there lies a good problem.’

Ms Hempsell, who spent roughly a year sleeping on her vital room building after carrying several operations to compound her physique tools in place, says ‘I’m bit by bit descending apart’.

The condition causes a 40-year-old mom to humour from unpleasant dislocations that mostly leave her wheelchair bound. Pictured is Ms Hempsell’s feet following reconstructive surgery

EDS causes a junction hankie to turn weak. Pictured is Ms Hempsell’s feet afer surgery

As a youngster she was a gifted gymnast, though Ms Hempsell had no suspicion her coherence was a outcome of EDS.

She would disturb joints during ungainly times and humour life-altering injuries, though doctors misdiagnosed a condition for 30 years.

Ms Hempsell said: ‘I was 6 years aged when my initial shoulder dislocation happened.

‘I suspicion it was a bit bizarre though we was a gymnast and famous for my positively absurd flexibility.

‘I could put my legs over my conduct and do a splits to a crazy extreme.

‘Everything was so stretchable and still is – it didn’t change, that is when we suspicion this isn’t right, we can still do this and I’m 41 nearly.’

Her 70-year-old mom Jane, a former midwife who helps Ms Hempsell with her housework each day, said: ‘We never accepted her condition.

Ms Hempsell was misdiagnosed for 30 years before doctors finally realised she had a debilitating condition. Pictured right is her shoulder following reconstructive surgery

Pictured are Ms Hempsell’s knees after she had vital medicine to stop them from dislocating

‘We should have never sent her to gymnastics though she was so good during it – we usually suspicion she was really clever.’ 

It wasn’t until Ms Hempsell’s daughter Lillie, now 16,  was taken ill with a same disorder, that she was finally diagnosed. Her other daughter Maizie, 14, also sufferers from EDS. 

In a past year, she has undergone 3 vital surgeries including a fusing of her shoulder, knee and foot.

Her shoulder had been dislocated for 4 years and she had pins and screws put in her kneecap to brace it.

Although a medicine has stopped her joints from dislocating on a daily basis, a irrevocable procedures meant she can no longer pierce those physique parts.

She also suffers with ongoing widespread corner pain, mind haze and fatigue, elastic skin that struggles to reanimate and bruises easily, and gastrointestinal dysfunction.

At one indicate a former teacher’s kidney isolated itself and found a approach to her abdomen. Pictured left is Ms Hempsell following vital knee medicine and right after a feet operation

At one indicate her kidney even isolated itself and found a approach to her stomach after a junction hankie surrounding it stretched and sagged.

The kidney was incompetent to be returned to a strange place and had to be stitched underneath her rib cage.

Ms Hempsell is also in a routine of being diagnosed with Chiari Malformation, that occurs when a reduce partial of a mind pushes down in a spinal waterway since it is not upheld by junction tissue.

This is causing Ms Hempsell to humour agonizing migraines.

Although she was forced to retire early from her training job, Ms Hempsell keeps herself bustling with a partial time mentor job.

She is also penetrating to widespread recognition of her disorder.  

Ms Hempsell said: ‘Someone competence be a relations of someone with Ehlers-Danlos and consider good she’s fine, she’s usually a bit bendy – good gymnast.

‘But afterwards they accommodate me and they consider good my daughters got that and she’s excellent – good I’m not, we know?’