Gorging on chocolate is not always bad for you: Teenager with liver disease life is saved by junk food
The 16-year-old was told she had just months to live without a liver transplantStuns doctors after high calorie diet, including chocolate, crisps and biscuits put her on the road to recovery
Sweet tooth: Teenager Elle Wilkinson was told that she could die within six months because of a liver condition but is on the road to recovery after gorging on chocolate
A teenager who was told she could die in six months if she failed to get a liver transplant has defied the odds after she was saved by gorging on chocolate.
Elle Wilkinson was warned by doctors that she had between six and 12 months to live is she didn't find a donor to cure her liver failure.
But the 16-year-old, from Bridlington, East Yorkshire, shocked doctors when her condition rapidly improved as a result of a high-carbohydrate diet – which includes copious amounts of chocolate.
After the continued diet, which also includes crisps and biscuits, as well set medication her miraculous recovery now seem complete after doctors officially removed her from the liver transplant list.
Schoolgirl Elle said 'My friends can't believe it – eating chocolate and crisps and all sorts of junk food, and not having to worry about the consequences.
'It is weird having to eat all these foods excessively when we are told to eat in them only in moderation or risk becoming fat – but I'm not complaining.'
Elle added: 'The doctor said I could have had the liver problems for three to five years before we even realised.
Miracle: Pam Wilkinson-Brown with her daughter Elle who has combated a liver disease by moving on to a high carbohydrate diet, which includes copious amounts of chocolate
'But we didn't know that because every symptom I had was what every teenager would go through, such as coughs and colds.
'It was all pretty scary.'
Elle's problems began in August last year when she began vomiting heavily and was rushed to hospital.
Tests revealed she was seriously ill and her liver was failing, so doctors quickly added her to the national transplant list.
The radical diet – which included chocolate, biscuits, bread and cheese – has been credited with giving her body extra energy, calories and protein – often lacking in people diagnosed with liver failure.
And amazingly, if Elle doesn't eat enough she could suffer muscle-wastage – forcing her to continue scoffing the delicious treats high in calories.
The starchy carbohydrates break down into sugar acting as her body's main source of energy.
Months to live: Elle, 16, was warned she had just months to live if she didn't get a new liver but has been removed from the transplant list after changing her diet to include chocolate
Elle's mother, Pam Wilkinson-Brown, 50, said 'She is on a high-carbohydrate diet.
'Her life is very different to the life of an average teenager.
'Elle will never be able to drink alcohol because it could kill her.
'She loses energy all the time, but carbohydrates give you energy. She should be eating pasta and rice, but she doesn't like it.
'She eats lots of cheese, bread, chocolate and shortbread.
'For Elle, that's a healthy diet.
'She needs the carbohydrates to give her the energy. The diet is playing a big factor in controlling the illness. But she will never be fully out of the woods, even if she had a transplant.'
Elle was diagnosed with autoimmune hepatitis, a disease which occurs when the body's immune system attacks cells of the liver, and her liver was failing.
And while she is currently suspended from the transplant list doctors have warned Elle she may still need a new liver in the future.
Pam said doctors want to try to keep Elle as well as possible in case they have to consider a transplant.
She said she could not thank hospital staff in Scarborough and Leeds, where Elle was treated, enough.
Pam added: 'It has been awful, but you get on with it because you have to remove yourself from it. We are very proud of her.
'People automatically think it's just caused through drink, but it's not.
'If we hadn't taken her to hospital, she wouldn't be here now.'