Art for Surgeries

Jenny Rowbory is a young British woman who suffers from Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (inflammation of the brain and spinal cord). She has been bed-bound for the last sixteen and a half years.

In May 2015, Jenny was also diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. This genetic disorder causes the body to produce faulty collagen. The biggest problem for Jenny is that the faulty collagen causes the ligaments and connective tissue in her neck to be lax, which means that it can’t support the skull. So the vertebrae and skull move around and subluxate (subluxation is like dislocation) and blood flow is severely reduced, causing increasing numbness.

The only neurosurgeon in the world who specializes in fusion—and fusion revision—surgeries and invasive bolt traction testing to determine the correct fusion position for highly complex Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome patients, is in the USA. Jenny is clinging to life by the skin of her teeth and has been trying to hang on for over a year while trying to fundraise enough money for the three surgeries that this neurosurgeon has said Jenny needs to have a hope of staying alive and regaining some sort of quality of life.

Enough money—that is 750.000 £! As of today, the total donations sum up to 223.565 £.


Her friends have started a number of fundraising projects, the most important being a book of Jenny’s poetry, which is available at her website and on Amazon.

Another initiative was the Secret Artist Postcard Auction on eBay with works from more than hundred artists from different fields. Among them were visual artist Tracey Emin, illustrator Nick Sharrat, comedian Lee Mack, broadcaster Jonathan Ross, and, well, a bunch of mail artists. The auction raised £5059.22.



The illustrations show the cover of Jenny’s book, a small portion of the cards that were auctioned, and my photo card “Reversed Time” with a poem on the backside.

Published by Gerald Jatzek

Gerald is a poet and musician who writes in German and English . He has published books for children and adults. He has played in quite some countries, including Italy, Greece, and Hong Kong. 2001 he received the Austrian State Prize for Children’s Poetry.

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