Thursday 23 October 2014

Anorexic girl who weighed less than three stone beats eating disorder

Emma O'Neil is a former anorexic who weighed less than three stone
Emma O'Neil has pictured having overcome her eating disorder

A former anorexic who was so ill she weighed less than three stone has finally beaten the eating disorder that nearly killed her.

Emma O'Neil, 22, was so thin that even lying on a hospital bed left her bruised - in what doctors told her was the worst case of anorexia they had ever seen.

Emma spent her teenage years in and out of hospital, where her worried family and medics begged her to eat, and where it took up to four nurses to hold her down to force feed her.

But it was only after she got so weak she collapsed while crossing a road - narrowly escaping being hit by a car - that she started her long road to recovery.

Now, eight years on, Emma, from Glasgow, is finally back to full health - and has even set up a foundation with two friends, to help anorexics and their families cope with the condition.

Emma said: "At the time, I didn't realise how ill I was - I didn't realise what I was doing to myself and my family.

"My doctor told me I was the best anorexic he'd ever met in his career - but I thought that was something I should be proud of.

"I was so thin that I couldn't even sleep on a normal hospital bed - my bones were like razor blades jutting out and I was left bruised.

"Even an airbed was too rough for me, so they had to wrap me in my dressing gown and sheepskin blankets.

"Some of my friends I was in hospital with who weren't as ill as I was who have died - I'm so lucky to be here.

"I want to take something positive from this horrible experience, and do all I can to help other people who are suffering."

Emma was a sporty teenager and weighed a healthy seven stone when she first developed the condition in her early teens.

Within six months, her weight had plummeted to just over five stone - and she was admitted to Gartnavel hospital in Glasgow.

But anorexia continued to ravage her body - taking her down to a skeletal two stone 12lbs.

"One day, my mum caught me being sick, and she was so upset I felt awful. I thought of her as this superwoman, and seeing her cry shocked me.

"She said she couldn't watch me eat if that was what I was going to do, so I just decided not to eat at all."

Emma's weight continued to plummet until she was pulled out of her private secondary school and taken into hospital.

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