A GREENOCK woman says she is being forced to fundraise to pay for private treatment in London after being 'abandoned' by the NHS.

Lauren Macpherson has suffered repeated dislocations, vision problems and pain so severe she describes it as being like 'lava being being injected' into her joints.

Her condition has now deteriorated to such an extent she experiences vertigo and nausea when upright for more than 60 minutes.

She believes she is suffering from hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS) - a rare inherited condition affecting the connective tissue which holds muscle, bone and organs in place - but says doctors have failed to diagnose her illness.

She said: "Over the past few years, I've been getting less and less mobile

"I can't stand for more than one hour, which make it very hard to get things done.

"This also means that my EDS could be affecting my skull and spine.

"My GP had a CT scan done and it came back clear so he is unwilling to refer me to a neurologist.

"What I need is an upright MRI as it is when the issues happen, but due to underfunding in the NHS and strict budgets, they do not have the money for people like me to have these scans done.

"They also do not have any EDS specialists.

"The only option for people with my symptoms is to save up their money and go to a private clinic in London for a proper diagnosis."

Lauren says that when she was growing up she suffered several accidents related to her condition.

She said: "It caused my elbows to dislocate when I was a kid and it causes my knees to bend back further than they should, resulting in my leg being broken in a freak bouncy castle accident.

"I've also ended up with random injuries like fracturing my coccyx.

"It also affects my skin, which is very soft, heals slowly and scars very easily. It also affects my inner organs, like the intestines and stomach."

Lauren says her symptoms were simply brushed off as growing pains.

She said: "As a child, I used to cry a lot after doing gym class or Highland dancing because it felt as though my knees were on fire.

"It felt like someone was injecting lava into them but the doctor said it was just growing pains.

"Now I know that I was subluxing my joints and damaging the ligaments and muscles that were working so hard to keep me together. I still have those pains every single day and in lots of joints all over my body - and I'm just 24."

Lauren also suffered the heartache of an ectopic pregnancy in 2017.

She said: "Miscarriages and ectopic pregnancies have links to patients with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome.

"Before that, I'd never had any major issues with my neck until after the ectopic pregnancy.

"I remember waiting for the bus and I couldn't turn my head without feeling sick."

Lauren says her deteriorating condition means she is unable to work and has been left fighting for disability benefits.

She added: "I had to stop working three years ago due to a tumour causing nerve damage in my hand and also my EDS symptoms.

"Since then I've been fighting for disability benefits and am having to go to a tribunal for the third time in 30 months.

"I dream about having a job but at the moment I'm almost housebound.

"This is why I've decided to bite the bullet and ask for some help on this journey to get my complicated condition solved and myself back into a position to work again."

Lauren is now trying to raise £2,200 to visit the Medserena private clinic in London where she hopes to get a diagnosis, scans and a consultation with a specialist called Dr Hakim.

She said: "I would really appreciate anything anyone can help me with. I'm sorry that it's come to the point that I need help financially.

"I hope to pay it back anyone who donates back."

Lauren is also on a mission to raise awareness of the condition and has been distributing leaflets and Ehlers-Danlos Syndromes tool kits of GP surgeries in the area.

She said: "There are 13 different types of Ehlers-Danlos Syndromes.

"The problem is that the majority of GPs don't believe in the condition and it is often misdiagnosed. It is neglected by the NHS."

Lauren has set up a Crowdfunding page. Anyone who would like to donate can do so online at www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/getlaurentolondon