'I had 48 hours to live': Anorexic woman makes miraculous recovery

By Samantha Luiz
27 January 2016

She was just 14 years old when doctors told her she had 48 hours to live.

The dire diagnosis was a result of a long battle with anorexia and bulimia that had left Gemma Walker weighing just 29 kg. "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," described Gemma's father Steve.

Our favourite meal

A photo posted by Gemma Walker (@gemswalker) on

"Some nights we would just sit on the floor by her bed, just to be with her, there was nothing else we could do."

Miraculously, his daughter survived. But the wasn't out of the woods yet. Over the next years, she would be admitted to hospital for both emergency and psychiatric care. Now 22 years old, the young woman, from Australia, has shared haunting photos showing the remarkable progress she has made in the past six months.

Thank you to all who read my article and for all the beautiful comments and messages. Already I have had numerous girls who are currently suffering reach out as well as girls that aren't sure if they're sick but know something's wrong. Through sharing my story you are creating awareness and creating love and support for families and individuals going through anorexia or eating disorders. I believe I have a duty now, a duty to try and stop girls from heading down the lethal, dark path I went down. If can make a difference to just one person or family, then this was all worth it. Share and encourage my page - I want girls to see what HAPPY and free of obsession looks like. I also have a book in the making and so many exciting things that I'm sure will inspire young and old, sick and healthy. Much love, Gemma #anorexiakills #iammorethan #anorexia #recovery #bulimia #health #hope #wecanbeatanorexia #love #thankyou

A photo posted by Gemma Walker (@gemswalker) on

"It's hard for me to look back at the photos, not so much how I physically looked but more so the feelings," said Gemma. "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."

My body's sure not perfect. I just keep telling myself it's a process. When I first looked through the photos @kurtogram took of me I wanted to cry. I saw these beautiful images, such amazing photography but I thought I looked horrible & that any other girl would look better where I was standing. Truth is, I showed my partner reluctantly, I sent some photos to my beautiful friend Amanda & they helped me see what beautiful photos they were of me. If I had a six pack, killer long legs, were 10 shades darker & had bigger boobs - I don't think I could inspire girls who are in the darkness at the moment. I am REAL, I am still on my journey so my body will look even better in a few months time, BUT I choose to let it be a process & not my pure concentration. I will be eating Popcorn & Frozen Coke tonight and tomorrow will be just another day. No punishment for tonight, no cutting back for my overindulgence. Because I CHOOSE a life of moderation & surprise ?? #anorexiakills #iammorethan #happiness #eatingdisordersarenotalife #beatinganorexia #hope #fightingforthosewhocantrightnow

A photo posted by Gemma Walker (@gemswalker) on

Gemma found the recovery particularly difficult.

She would wear gym weights in order to trick her doctors to think she was gaining weight.

She also turned to self-harming to deal with the "traumatic" situation. As part of the re-feeding admissions, she would consume 6500 calories in just 20 minutes, causing her pass out and hallucinate. "My recovery was very traumatic. 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."

Only twice a year that I pay for the tacos Happy Father's Day Stevie.

A photo posted by Gemma Walker (@gemswalker) on

Seven years later, Gemma is doing well and has even launched a new skincare business.

"Seeing her now gives us so much joy. She is full of energy and hope, which is something we never thought we'd see in our daughter again, " said Steve, adding that seven years is a "long time to have your baby suffering".

"She has overcome this by herself, we have merely been by her side."

Sources: dailymail.co.uk, dailystar.co.uk, mirror.co.uk

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