21-year-old reveals the tragic reason her fingers ‘died’ – in the hope of inspiring others

By Robyn Lucas
21 July 2017

“If you are struggling it's so important that you seek out help."

It’s not often that a person with a mental illness voices their struggles because of the fear of being judged – but one brave young woman decided to speak up after a suicide attempt in hope that it would encourage others.

Elle Lietzow (21) is on a mission to raise awareness about body positivity after her long battle with anorexia, seizures and depression caused her to try and commit suicide.

“At the time I was underweight so I wasn't thinking clearly,” the 21-year-old, who only weighed 34 kg in high school, told Daily Mail Australia. “The concept of taking my own life had never crossed my mind before [that] even though I had had low points.”

Hey guys, so as some of you may know I have battled a lot of weight issues and disordered eating in my teenage life from anorexia to binge eating and becoming overweight but then unfortunately relapsing back into anorexia where I almost lost my life due to rapidly loosing over 40kg in less than 6 months. I posted a video to my YouTube Channel with "My ED Story" in pictures (Link in bio) and it was very hard for me to post online as it has very confronting photos that are quite raw and embarrassing for me but I want to help and maybe inspire others that may be in the same situation and let them know that they too can recover like I have today. So if you would like to learn more about my story and how I have recovered on a HCLF Vegan Lifestyle my Video link is in my bio ? ------------------------- Thank You all so much for your kind and supportive comments on the video so far it really does mean a lot to me and I wish I could reply to all of you individually!! ? #vegan #anorexiarecovery

A post shared by E L L E ? (@elletayla) on

After attempting to take her own life, Elle was rushed to the hospital where she spent 21 days in an induced coma. Her doctors were not sure if she would survive.

“I was on an ECMO machine for five days and on dialysis and was suffering pneumonia from a collapsed lung and blood poisoning,” she revealed.

While in the hospital, her blood pressure medication caused the tissue in her fingers to die and unfortunately, her fingertips had to be amputated.

“[The medication] kept me alive, but a consequence was me losing some of my extremities which were in this case, my fingertips,” she explained.

But the Melbourne native quickly realised how lucky she was after meeting people that were going through things much worse than her.

“'I think that really helped me because when I was in there people were dealing with much worse than I was so I stopped caring about the fingers as much and just focused on recovering,” she said.

After everything she’s been through, Elle now shares her amazing story with her followers on Instagram and YouTube – she even documented her doctor’s visit while getting her prosthetic fingertips fitted.

By courageously sharing her journey, Elle hopes to help people others battling mental illness to open up about their experiences.

“If you are struggling it's so important that you seek out help. It's so silent – I looked so happy but that's because it's so easy to put on a facade on social media, you don't share sad stories.”.

Elle now weighs 65 kg but says she tries not to weigh herself anymore – instead, she focuses on trying to stay happy and healthy.

“I feel free and I no longer have any rules around food. For the first time, I feel so much happier. I never had boobs or curves. Now, I have a healthy figure - I love my curves.”

Sources: dailymail.co.uk, masterstories.com

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