Anorexic was a day from death after being called a fat, ginger cow. Now Annabel is a healthy, happy, hairdresserBullies relentlessly taunted Annabel over the colour of her hair
20-year-old is over “body issues” – and delighted with her hair the way it is
Bullied over her ginger hair, Annabel Norris starved herself to within a day of death.
Her weight halved to less than five stone, and she survived only thanks to the help of hospital doctors.
Now the former anorexic has turned her life around – by becoming a hairdresser.
Better: Annabel Norris said her near-death experience made her realise how much she wanted to live. Right: Annabel with anorexia and her hair dyed blonde. Soon she spent three months in hospital being fed by tube
Miss Norris, 20, now a healthy eight and a half stone, said yesterday: ‘Part of me wanted to prove to myself,and everyone else, that ginger hair can look amazing.’
Miss Norris had already been treated in hospital once – and gone back to starving herself – when she became so weak she was unable to get out of bed.
Doctors found her heart had withered away due to lack of food and warned she was less than 12 hours from death.
Family ties: Annabel with her younger brother during her battle with anorexia: This collect photo shows how sick she became
While at school, Miss Norris was relentlessly taunted by a gang who called her ‘ginger bitch’ and plagued her with emails saying she was a ‘fat ginger cow’.
Starving: Annabel”s weight fell to just 5st
She became obsessed with her appearance, dyeing her hair a different colour every week and doing 3,000 sit-ups at a time.
At 13 she virtually stopped eating, surviving on just two small pots of sugar-free jelly a day – 50 calories. She threw meals in the bin to hide her condition from her father Nick, 46, and mother Dorianne, 42.
Miss Norris, from Gildersmore, West Yorkshire, said: ‘Mum saw the emails and took me to see the doctor, who diagnosed me with anorexia and I was hospitalised.
After four months of intensive therapy my weight increased to a healthy eight stone 10lb.
‘I was allowed home but as soon as Ireturned to school the bullying started again but worse than ever – I went back to my old eating habits and excessive exercise.
“Within eight months I was back in hospital weighing just four stone 13lb.’
She spent three months being fed through tubes and having counselling. Now she has made a full recovery –including passing exams to qualify as a hairdresser.
‘Gradually I began to eat a little more each day, starting simply with breakfast, then forcing myself to eat that extra mouthful at dinner,’ she said.
‘Finally I’ve got over all my body issues – and I’m delighted with my ginger hair just as it is.’
Annabel is organising a sponsored sky dive for anorexia charity Beat next year.
For more information and support visit their website at www.b-eat.co.uk or call the helpline on 0845 634 1414.