Family's Battle To Save Anorexic Daughter Who Hasn't Eaten For A Year

14/08/2014 17:00 | Updated 20 May 2015

Family's battle to save anorexic daughter who hasn't eaten for a year

The family of an anorexic woman have released harrowing pictures of their daughter in a bid to save her life.

Emma Duffy, 24, has not eaten for a year and is only fed liquids by tube.

Her battle with the eating disorder started when she was eight years old and heard a dance teacher say another girl was fat.

It triggered a lifelong battle against bulimia and anorexia, which she kept secret for years.

As a teenager, Emma was thin, fainted regularly and lost a lot of her hair. At 18, she finally admitted to her mother that she was making herself sick.

She has been admitted to hospital 'hundreds of times' and has tried to commit suicide nine times, on one occasion swallowing razor blades.

For the last six months, she has been treated at a specialist hospital in Middlesbrough and there were plans to send her to The Retreat clinic in York. But the NHS won't fund the £1,000-a-day care – despite the fact her parents have been warned several times to prepare for Emma's death after her organs began shutting down.

Her consultant believed The Retreat - one of the few units in the country that treats eating and personality disorders together - could help her overcome anorexia and Emma's mum, Beverley, was confident that it would save her life.

Family's battle to save anorexic daughter who hasn't eaten for a year

But Emma faces being back into the community in days, weighing six stone and refusing all nutrients.

Her parents have now set up an internet appeal to raise £1million for three years of treatment for Emma, who has only had a liquid diet for the past year, which is fed to her by tube.

They are furious with the NHS for its failure to help her effectively, even though her father, Alan, 57, works for the Health Service as a clinical engineering manager.

Mum Beverley, 51, has started the fund raising effort with her youngest daughter Amy, 20.

Beverley, from Chesterfield, Derbyshire, said Amy's sister cannot be watched 24 hours a day at home and is likely to try to kill herself as soon as she can.

She believes her daughter will also reject the community care doctors have decided to give her instead of treatment in hospital.

Beverley told the Mail: "I think the attitude of the NHS is disgusting. It comes down to money. She's in a worse state now than she was when she was admitted to hospital. She has had all hope taken away from her. It's not safe to discharge her."

Her family says funding the expensive treatment to cure her would pay for itself by stopping her being a long-term burden on the NHS.

Beverley added: "She's getting weaker and she needs help. I hope we can raise the money ourselves before it's too late for her."

Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust said: "The responsibility for funding care placements rests with the commissioners of NHS services."

See to support Saving Emma

More on Parentdish: Anorexia: The warning signs


Suggest a correction