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Tuesday, December 6, 2011


Better: Annabel Norris (left) said her near death experience made her realise how much she wanted to live. Right: Annabel in the throes of anorexia and with her hair dyed blonde. At her illest she spent three months in hospital being fed by tube

An anorexic who starved herself to within a day of death after being bullied for having ginger hair has overcome her condition to become - a hairdresser.

Annabel Norris, 20, shrank from eight stone to just four stone 13lbs after developing the serious mental health disorder when she was 13.

Horrified doctors warned Annabel she was less than 12 hours from death after she was rushed to hospital when she was 16.

However, she has managed to recover and has now launched a successful career.

Family ties: Annabel with her younger brother during her battle with anorexia: This collect photo shows how sick she became

Annabel, from Gildersmore, West Yorkshire, said: 'My mum made me see I didn't want to die - it's been incredibly hard and I never could have recovered without her.

'I've got over all my body issues - and I'm delighted with my ginger hair just as it is. But during my years as an anorexic, it really was a living hell - I wouldn't wish it on anyone.'

Annabel was relentlessly taunted at school by a gang of bullies who called her 'ginger b***h'. They also plagued her with emails saying she was a 'fat ginger cow.'

She said: 'I grew to hate my ginger hair and my weight so I thought the only way I could be accepted was to dye my hair different colours and stop eating.'

She changed her hair colour every week, would exercise for hours and began skipping meals.

She said: 'Mum became really worried, especially after discovering emails sent to me by the school bullies.

'She took me to see the doctor, who diagnosed me with anorexia and I was hospitalised.

'After four months of intensive therapy my weight increased to a healthy eight stone 10lb.

'I was allowed home but as soon as I returned to school, the bullying started again but worse than ever - I went back to my old eating habits and excessive exercise.

'Within eight months I was back to square one and back in hospital.'

'It has been far from easy but finally I'm a healthy eight-and-half-stone and in control. I even completed an NVQ level 2 in hairdressing - despite being bullied about my hair, I'd always been fascinated by different haircuts and styles.

'Part of me wanted to prove to myself, and everyone else, that ginger hair can look amazing.

'Finally I've got over all my body issues - and I'm delighted with my ginger hair just as it is.'

Annabel is organising a sponsored sky dive for anorexia charity Beat next year. For more information and support visit their website at or call the helpline on 0845 634 1414.

source: dailymail


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