A FUNDRAISER has been launched to get life-saving help for a Flintshire woman suffering from crippling anorexia.

Amy-Bronwen Ellis, 42, who was an international development charity worker NGO before her disease crippled her, has been battling severe anorexia since her early childhood.

“My earliest memories began about aged 4,” Amy, from Broughton, said.

“An eating disorder, as we now understand, is part genetics and part environment."

Amy said she has early memories of giving her meals to the family’s dog, or depositing it down the bottom of the garden.

“By the time I was in junior school I was getting up at 4am, before everyone else was awake, and setting up the breakfast table and crushing up cereal and milk in my bowl to make it look as though I’d eaten breakfast,” she said.

“I then began skipping meals whenever I could but at the same time I wasn’t really thinking about why I was doing it.”

By her early teenage years, Amy’s family was “shocked” by how thin she was. As she grew up, her eating disorder took control over her whole life.

“I did try to make a life but my eating disorder stopped me from living really and I could never fulfil my dreams,” Amy said.

“I am too ill to live a normal life. I weigh around 4 stone and need a wheelchair to go any distance outside of the house.”

“I try hard everyday to help myself, to keep myself going. I don’t want to die – I am afraid.”

Amy said many people still don’t realise that eating disorders aren’t a life choice.

“I don’t choose to live this way," she said.

“Just like no one chooses to have any kind of mental, or physical illness.”

But Amy kept battling on, a hugely talented artist – she tried to pursue her dreams. She travelled overseas for the charity work, but the crippling nature of her illness always brought her home.

The Leader: Examples of Amy's artwork. Examples of Amy's artwork.

Amy says she is now “sicker than ever”, and is seeking private help from a specialist facility in England to get better.

Amy’s friend, Simon Quick, has run three half-marathons to raise money for Amy to get specialist, private treatment via Priory Group.

The Priory offers specialist help including, Maudsley Model of Anorexia Nervosa Treatment for Adults (MANTRA), Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and Dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT) as well as Dietetic support, occupational therapy and Body image workshops. These treatments are recommended by NICE guidelines and could give her the best chance of survival of this disease. However they are not among the treatment options currently offered in her area.

Amy has been struggling and fighting this illness for years but despite her efforts, all the treatments that she has tried so far have not worked for her. Instead, her illness has worsened dramatically.

Amy is now desperately looking for the kind of specialist support that could help her to enable her to survive this illness.

Amy said: “And why would anyone consider helping me when the whole world is suffering?

“Because I don’t want to die, I want to do good. Help that means I won’t be thinking, worrying and stressing about food from the moment I wake up, every single day, for every second of the day.

"I want to give my mam her daughter back, and one she can be truly proud of. The sister and auntie I could never be. I want to die an old lady surrounded by family, not like this tormented by my illness."

Amy has been helping raise awareness of eating disorders via a TikTok (@savingamycymru) and a YouTube channel – where she documents day to day life with anorexia.

You can donate to the fundraiser at https://bit.ly/3fZArg3

The Leader: Amy before her anorexia-induced weight loss. Amy before her anorexia-induced weight loss.