(WARNING: This report contains images that may seem disturbing to some readers)
Thirty-seven-year old Rachel Farroukh has a heart-rending existence and if you look at her you will think you are looking at a living skeleton. She has been battling anorexia for over a decade and now weighs a mere 40 lbs, or around 18 kg. Last month she launched an appeal on YouTube about her condition, which she has tried to treat but clearly without much success.
In her video posted on YouTube, she said “I’ve never been ever wanting to ask for help, but I need your help”. She said that given her very low body weight, only one hospital, and that too not in her home state of California is able to treat her. However, since her husband Ross Edmonson has had to leave his job of personal trainer and become her full-time carer, there is no way for her to pay for this treatment. That is why the video was posted.
The YouTube video has been viewed over two million times and the couple have managed to raise over $178,000, well over their target of $100,000. Because of this, she will now be able to receive treatment at the ACUTE Center for Eating Disorders at the Denver Health Medical Centre in the state of Colorado for specialised treatment.
Rachael should still consider herself lucky in that she and her husband managed to raise such a large amount in funds, entirely through the Internet. Anorexia cases have been reported in Pakistan as well but what has been reported would suggest that the disease is not taken seriously by the general population, most of whom have little idea of what it is exactly. Besides, it is seen as afflicting only those who are well off and can afford to satisfy their daily nutritional requirements in the first place, which in countries like Pakistan is not necessarily the whole population.