Gifted stu­dent dies after eat­ing disorder bat­tle

Macclesfield Express - - BARLOW’S BRIEF - STU­ART GREER

ATAL­ENTED stu­dent died after a ‘ h e a r t b re a k i n g ’ seven-year bat­tle with an eat­ing disorder, an in­quest heard.

Anna Ha­worth, 23, of Hen­shaw Lane, Sid­ding­ton, was de­scribed as ‘a hugely in­tel­li­gent, bright and ac­tive young woman from a car­ing and sup­port­ive fam­ily’.

She had strug­gled with an eat­ing disorder since she was 16 and de­vel­oped a chronic al­co­hol de­pen­dency to cope with stress, the in­quest heard.

Be­tween 2010 and 2012 Anna was treated by doc­tors who found vom­it­ing, a typ­i­cal symp­tom of an eat­ing disorder, had left potas­sium lev­els in her blood ‘dan­ger­ously low’.

But Anna stopped at­tend­ing med­i­cal ap­point­ments and in April 2012 she was hos­pi­talised after suf­fer­ing a seizure.

Then a year later Anna’s fa­ther, Neil, found her in her bed­room hav­ing another seizure. De­spite ef­forts by paramedics and doc­tors, Anna died at Mac­cles­field Hos­pi­tal on March 18, 2013.

Alan Moore, as­sis­tant coro­ner for Cheshire, con­cluded the cause of death was car­diac ar­rest caused by hy­pokalaemia, caused by an eat­ing disorder, with fatty liver as a con­trib­u­tory fac­tor.

Record­ing a ver­dict of death by nat­u­ral causes, Mr Moore said: “Anna un­der­stood the dan­gers and wanted desperately to over­come her prob­lems, and wanted to get bet­ter. Things were look­ing brighter but as we heard since 2010 she had been in a con­tin­u­ally dan­ger­ous sit­u­a­tion. Out­wardly she looked fine but inside her or­gans and blood there were prob­lems that could’ve gone badly at any mo­ment. It is likely that she vom­ited after her last meal which could have had a sig­nif­i­cant af­fect on her potas­sium lev­els in the min­utes or hours be­fore her death.

“Her death was very sud­den, very un­ex­pected and with­out warn­ing. It has been ab­so­lutely heart- break­ing for her fam­ily.”

The in­quest heard that Anna went to a board­ing school in Rugby where she ex­celled in her stud­ies and sports. She headed to Leeds Univer­sity but started drink­ing heav­ily to cope with stress.

She agreed to take a year off and re­turned home where she helped her par­ents Neil and Sarah’s cater­ing firm.

Chok­ing back tears, Neil told the hear­ing she had been de­ter­mined to over­come her prob­lems.

He said: “In the weeks be­fore her death there were pos­i­tive changes in her per­son­al­ity. She was start­ing to go out more. She was hap­pier. On the day of her death she was cheer­ful and cleaned her car for the first time in two years. We thought ‘wow, Anna is com­ing back to us’.”

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