What is EDS, Rare Connective Tissue Disorder, New Zealand Women Was Accused of Faking Symptoms For?

A woman in New Zealand was accused of faking symptoms of an illness and later she succumbed to it that was later found to be a rare health condition.

What is EDS, Rare Connective Tissue Disorder, New Zealand Women Was Accused of Faking Symptoms For? (Freepik)

Medical Science often unravels itself in mysterious ways. Recently a 33-year-old woman from New Zealand was accused of faking symptoms of a debilitating illness. She later passed away after succumbing to Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS). According to a report by the Independent, “Stephanie Aston became an advocate for patients’ rights after doctors refused to take her EDS symptoms seriously and blamed them on mental illness. She was just 25 when those symptoms began in October 2015. At the time, she did not know she had inherited the health condition.”


Ehlers-Danlos syndrome is a group of inherited disorders that affect your connective tissues. It majorly affects the blood vessels, skins and joints in the body. According to Mayo Clinic, these tissues are a complex mixture of proteins and other substances that provide strength and elasticity to the underlying structures in your body.

Patients living with this inherited diseases often have loose, stretchy skin, overly flexible joints and also they bruise very easily.

Different types of Ehlers-Danlos syndrome are associated with a variety of genetic causes, some of which are inherited and passed on from parent to child. If you have the most common form, hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, there’s a 50% chance that you’ll pass on the gene to each of your children.

Common Symptoms of EDS

  1. Overly flexible joints: Because the connective tissue that holds joints together is loose, joints may move far past the normal range of motion. Joint pain and dislocations are common.
  2. Stretchy skin:  Weakened connective tissue allows your skin to stretch much more than usual. You may be able to pull a pinch of skin up away from your flesh, but it will snap right back into place when you let go. Your skin might also feel exceptionally soft and velvety.
  3. Fragile skin: Damaged skin often doesn’t heal well. When bruise, and need stitches, it might be a problem as the skin will not hold it together. These scars may look thin and crinkly.

Apart from his, headache, nausea, and abdominal pain are a few other symptoms. However, it may differ from person to person.


Reportedly, the doctors she consulted allegedly accused er of faking her own illness. And due to this, she was put on a psychiatric watch without any proper diagnosis.She had to undergo rectal examinations and was accused of practising self-harming behaviours. She was suspected of faking fainting spells, fevers, and coughing fits, and there were also suggestions that her mother was physically harming her.


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