She Was Given Only 48 Hours To Live, 7 Years Later...
On 22nd January 2016
#1 Gemma Walker was diagnosed with anorexia nervosa and bulimia aged 14, doctors warned she would die without treatment
An anorexic teenager who weighed little over four stone and given 48 hours to live has shared harrowing photos of her illness after a miraculous recovery.
When Gemma Walker was diagnosed with anorexia nervosa and bulimia aged 14, doctors warned she would die without treatment.
The teen weighed a tiny 4.5 stone forcing her devastated parents to consider palliative care.
Over the next seven years, she was admitted to hospital three times with one emergency care and two long term psychiatric and re-feeding admissions.
Now 22, Miss Walker has posted both harrowing pictures and those which show her remarkable recovery to celebrate six months of being well.
#2 Miss Walker, who has recovered from her anorexia battle, shared pictures of herself to inspire other people who are battling with eating disordersWhat is anorexia? Diagnosis and treatment explainedLoaded: 0%Progress: 0%00:00PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration Time 3:54FullscreenNeed Text
She hopes that by sharing the shocking photos of her skeletal form and her return to health, she will inspire other people battling eating disorders.
'It's hard for me to look back at the photos, not so much how I physically looked but more so the feelings,' she said.
'I look at each photo and remember exactly how I was feeling, or what was behind that photograph.
'I felt numb, the days just melted into each other and I wished each day by, hoping that I would just pass peacefully in my sleep. My family and I were ready to let me pass.'
Her father Steve revealed seeing pictures of his daughter at her worst brings back the pain and constant anguish he saw.
'They were the hardest and most terrifying years of our lives, checking on her each morning to see if she was still breathing, to see if her weak heart was still beating,' he said.
'Some nights we would just sit on the floor by her bed, just to be with her, there was nothing else we could do.'
Miss Walker, from Gold Coast, Australia, was severely depressed would trick doctors to think she was gaining weight by wearing gym weights and began to self-harm to cope with the pain.
And when she did take steps to recover, she found she struggled with binge eating and suffered from re-feeding syndrome.
#3 Miss Walker was admitted to hospital three times and was told she was days from death without treatment
#4 When Miss Walker went into recovery, she would consume 6500 calories in just 20 minutes (right) causing her to pass out and experience hallucinations
#5 She was diagnosed with anorexia nervosa and bulimia when she was 14 and struggled with it for several years
#6 Miss Walker's father, Steve, said he would check on her every morning to see if she was breathing
The desperate teen would consume 6500 calories in just 20 minutes causing her to pass out and experience hallucinations.
'My recovery was very traumatic,' she said.
My weight gain was very rapid. In less than seven months I put on 40 kilograms, tripling my body weight, however I was at my worst mentally.
'People believed I was better because I looked healthier that I was better and no longer anorexic.
'Chronic bingeing and bulimia lasted almost 18 months, it was a complete 360 from strict obsessive rules to complete loss of control.'
Miss Walker credits her supportive parents and her partner for helping her defy the odds.
Her father even encouraged her to write a 'goodbye letter' to anorexia.
The envelope sat in her bottom draw for six years until December 2014, when she was finally ready to let go.
She has now set up her own skincare and cosmetic business, Rejuvinateme, and is looking towards the future.
She said: 'My partner has been an incredible support and is honestly the reason why I'm still alive.
#7 Miss Walker has put her recovery down to her supportive family and friends and says the chapter is now closed in her life as she looks forward to the future
'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.
'I do believe that I have fully recovered and that my anorexia is now just a huge chapter that has closed.'
Mr Walker said her recovery has given the family 'so much joy.'
'She is full of energy and hope, which is something we never thought we'd see in our daughter again,' he said.
'Seven years is a long time to have your baby suffering, a long time to have your child numb, with no voice, no personality - just a lethal controlling obsession.
'She has overcome this by herself, we have merely been by her side.'
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