Eating disorders are extremely prominent in today's society. With the unrealistic expectations of the world, the altered and sculpted photos printed all over magazines, people are resorting to the extremes. At the young age of 14, Gemma Walker was diagnosed with both anorexia nervosa and bulimia. These two severe eating disorders are not to be taken lightly, and in Gemma's case, were life threatening. Weighing in at a mere 63lbs at the age of 14, Gemma's parents were told by doctors that she would have only 48 hours to live if she didn't receive immediate medical intervention.
Her father had the dreaded task of checking up on her every morning to see if she was still breathing, something I'm sure no parent would ever want to do. 7 years later, Gemma has made an extraordinary recovery and has shared her photos in hopes of helping others with their journey to recovery.
Gemma weighed only 63lbs (roughly 29kg).
Gemma's parents were devastated by the condition their daughter was in and were considering palliative care. Throughout the entire 7 years of her recovery, Gemma was admitted to the hospital three times. One was for emergency care, while the other two were for long-term psychiatric care, as well as re-feeding admissions. The initial recovery process was rather traumatic and a complete 360 from her previous state.
During her recovery, she often suffered from binge eating and “refeeding syndrome,” which would cause her to consume copious amounts of food in one sitting. In as little as 20 minute, Gemma could consume upwards of 6,000 calories which would cause her to pass out and hallucinate. Within 7 months, Gemma had put on 88lbs (40kg), nearly tripling her initial weight. People had believe that she was over her anorexia and that she was healthier, but she claims to have been at her worst. She went from a complete lack of eating to mass overconsumption.
Gemma's father actually convinced her to write a goodbye letter to her anorexia. She left the envelope in her bottom drawer for six years and finally let it go in December of 2014.
Gemma's full recovery
7 years later, Gemma has finally normalized and made a complete recovery. She credits her parents by saying “I also have my beautiful parents to thank, they literally been through everything with me, it's only now that I realise what incredible, loving parents they are. I am the happiest I've ever been now, it's such an amazing, surreal feeling.” She is now celebrating her recovery at the age of 22, as well as the launch of her new beauty product business. Her story is a truly touching and inspiring one. Hopefully it can help those who are also in a similar situation as she was.
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