Gifted student dies after eating disorder battle
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’.”