At 37-years-old, Rachael Farrokh weighs about 40 pounds and she is close to death. Farrokh and her husband made a desperate plea for help on GoFundMe, a crowd sourcing website, according to KTLA News on May 23.
Rachael has suffered from the most severe form of anorexia for the past 12 years and people don’t understand why she just doesn’t eat a cheeseburger and start bulking up. Just one cheeseburger could kill her at this point, according to Rachael.
Dr Tim Walsh, who is an eating disorder specialist out of New York State Psychiatric Institute at Columbia University, states that the first line of treatment for someone like Rachael is to increase her caloric intake, but extremely slowly. An increase of 25 calories a day would be along the lines of what most experts would suggest at this point of her disorder.
Walsh, who has never treated Rachael, says that medical treatment and psychological support are the two issues that need to be addressed immediately when starting treatment for such a severe anorexia nervosa.
When involved in such a drastic case of this disorder, the body is shutting down. One of the main complications in a case like Rachael’s when you start re-feeding is cardiac involvement. This could bring fatal consequences like heart failure. So when Rachael says eating a cheeseburger can kill her, she is telling the truth.
As you can see in the picture above, this 5-foot-7-inches tall woman is just too frail to travel to a facility that specializes in the treatment she needs. Because the facility is across the country, her doctor has arranged the treatment to come to her. As of Sunday May 24, Rachael has raised more than $170,000 on her GoFundMe page. Now she and her husband are able to pay for this treatment to go on at home, which has already started, until she is stabilize enough to travel to a treatment center and finish up with the much needed specialized treatment.
Rachael said about her doctor treating her at home in California that “she actually has provided even extra care because right now she doesn’t think it’s safe for me to make the travel across country to a treatment center. We are trying to build up to that point to travel to a specialized treatment center like Denver Health.”
You can check out Rachael’s plea for help on her YouTube video above. Her husband also writes on the GoFundMe page how they’ve had so many problems trying to get a hospital to treat his wife because she weighs only 40 pounds and doesn’t meet minimum weight requirements.
In her 10-year battle with this extreme case of anorexia Rachael has suffered blood transfusions, blood clots, edema and has suffered heart, liver and kidney failure. “She is at a critical point. … Her days are limited if we don’t take action immediately,” her husband Rod Edmondson writes. Now that she has over $170,000 for the treatment and has started this treatment from home, there’s hope she will beat this disorder.