Taoiseach Leo Varadkar vows to help a five stone anorexic teenage girl who has been given just weeks to live

The Sun Article, Feb 2018

THE Taoiseach last night vowed to help an anorexic teenager, who has been given just weeks to live.

Daniella Russell, 18, who weighs just five stone, has been battling the eating disorder since she was 14 years old.

However, the Kerry teenager has been told she cannot access Ireland’s only dedicated residential and day patient care facility until May.

Daniella’s distraught mum Joyce said she has been left with no option but to take her daughter to the UK tomorrow for treatment.

She said: “Daniella is so bad she has been given just weeks to live. She’s begging for help.

“I have done everything possible and have drained all resources possible to help my daughter in Ireland but with no results.

“What is more frustrating, disheartening and unbelievable is that there is no support, no services or funding available to help people with anorexia. This is a disorder you cannot simply snap out of.

“My daughter is dying before my eyes. It’s just a matter of time before she collapses and dies.”

Joyce brought Daniella to Lois Bridges — Ireland’s only dedicated service for patients with eating ­disorders — last Tuesday.

But she said they were told there’s no free space at the Dublin facility for months. She added: “They have a really dedicated and experienced team there, but there are no beds available until May.

“Most probably Daniella will not survive until then.

“We’re lucky she was born in England so she’s still part of the NHS.

“She was in the eating disorder unit in Cambridge last year from August to November and it was fantastic.”

Joyce said Daniella turned 18 in October and so could not be kept in an adolescent unit any longer.

She said: “We were devastated as she was not ready to be discharged.

“We had to go there because funding was not available in Ireland to help her no matter how many times I pleaded for her to get help.

“Now history is repeating itself again with us having to go to England. I will have to go for an indefinite time with her, which means my 14-year-old son will have to be looked after by my family again.”

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar last night vowed to help Daniella after we raised her case.

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