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A TEENAGER with Anorexia told her family that she would rather die than eat before she hanged herself in her bedroom.
Ellie Long, 15, from Wymondham, Norfolk, had been prescribed Prozac by her doctor in a bid to cure her severe eating disorder.
Ellie Long was just 15 when she died after struggling with anorexia and depressionCredit: The Long Family
Her devastated family said that she had been “failed by everyone” and that the doctors had simply upped her antidepressant dosage rather than see her in person.
After telling her loved ones that they would be “better off without her” she hanged herself in her home on December 9 2017.
She died in Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital two days later.
In a statement, Ellie’s mum Nicki Long told Norfolk Coroner’s Court that after she had dropped weight, she suffered from sleeping problems which then progressed to self-harm and suicidal thoughts.
She told the court that at first she thought that her daughter just had an interest in exercise and was eating three meals a day, but soon found out that wasn’t the case.
Ellie was flushing her breakfasts down the toilet and put her food in the bin when she was at school.
Keran Chitari, the mental health doctor who treated Ellie, said that services at the time had been “stretched”.
She was initially referred to the eating disorders service by her GP and saw a dietitian but the court heard that she found the constant talk of food “patronising”, so stopped attending her appointments.
Ellie’s condition had become so dire that Nicki was pouring full fat milk into skimmed bottles and flattening thick bread with a rolling pin – just to get more calories into her child.
Mrs Long said: “She told me she had dropped to eight and a half stone and I told her that was enough.”
By March 2017 Ellie’s periods had stopped and she continued to lose weight. The situation came to a head on a family day out when Mrs Long, her partner, and Ellie’s older sister Hannah, ordered full meals but Ellie only had a salad.
The court heard how after a nine-day stint in hospital, the family feared that Ellie was a huge suicide risk following her threats.
On December 9, Nicki said that she called for an ambulance but was told to take her to a walk-in centre.
She also called the police in the hope that they would section Ellie, a last desperate bid to keep her daughter safe, but she was given the number for social services.
The following day she took her own life.
Dr Keran Chitari, formerly of the Norfolk and Suffolk Mental Health Trust, told the inquest she had not been aware of Ellie’s historical suicide risk.
“A care plan had never been completed and there was no crisis plan,” she said.
“Six people were trying to do the work of 20. The service was stretched but we were trying to offer the best care possible.”
Nicki said: “Mrs Long said: “I feel I’ve been let down by everyone. It’s all very well to learn lessons from Ellie’s death but it does her no good now and does not bring my daughter back.
“Ellie was not told what a healthy weight would be. She was terrified by the idea she would put on a kilo a week.
She said despite records showing she had been given a crisis number, this was not the case, and instead she only had a mobile number for an EDS member of staff which was not answered.