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"If her story can help save one life it would be amazing".

Byline: Lisa Hutchinson Reporter lisa.hutchinson@ncjmedia.co.uk

e n ending battle."

SHE had battled an eating disorder for more than a decade. BUT after a constant struggle with her eating, Jay Taylor died in her mother's arms.

Now grieving mum, Tracey, is warning others about the dangers of the "disease" and hopes Jay's account will save at least one other from dying.

The 24-year-old had been suffering from anorexia since the age of 11 and at 5ft 4in, at her worst went down to 5 stones.

Through good and bad times her weight yo-yoed as she was repeatedly admitted into hospital constantly fighting her demons.

But on Monday, Tracey says her motherly intuition kicked in when she saw death in her daughter's eyes only hours before watching her take her last breath.

And now, by talking openly about Jay's battle, she hopes elsewhere another life will be saved. "I saw Jay on Monday morning and saw it in her eyes. I just knew she was going to die that day," said Tracey.

"I went around to hers and she said she felt hot. She took her dressing gown off and she looked terrible. I weighed her and she was 5 stone 5, but she had been less than that before. I said to her 'are you going to faint?' But she said she was tired. She lay down and took her last breath. She had died. She was cold and I cradled her in my arms. I think her body had had enough and it just gave up. I was there when she took the first breath when she arrived in this world and the last when she went."

Grandmother Tracey tried CPR but couldn't revive her. Medics also tried but Jay's heart wouldn't start again.

"We hope this is a wake up call for others. If her story can help one other it would be amazing," said Tracey. 46, of Walker, Newcastle.

"She was always helping others, she was so caring. She tried so hard to get better and be normal, but couldn't. I will miss our laughs and chats. All I wanted was for her to be healthy, but she is at peace now."

In 2007 Jay featured in the Chronicle when she told of her battle with anorexia. In her own words she told of her struggles, emotions and demons.

She would constantly exercise, pedalling on her exercise bike through the night, run during the day and do more than 1,000 sit-ups at a time to burn off the calories she didn't have.

She said: "People stared at me, my family would cry and beg me to eat more, and my mum was beside herself, convinced I was going to die.

However, I never thought I was ill enough to die from anorexia.I carried on listening to the voice inside saying I was fat, huge, ugly and worthless... that I would be better if I was thin.

"I hid food in my hair, in my room or in my pockets. My mum's washer was once filled with chicken that I had forgott about. It was a never-ending battle."

Jay spent her years in and out of the eating disorder units at Newcastle's Royal Victoria Infirmary, Leeds, Glasgow and Darlington. She had also been sectioned under the Mental Health Act on occasions as her weight fluctuated from 5 stones to a healthier 7 stones 7. For the last three years she was fed through a tube through her nose. Only a month ago she was in hospital in Darlington but came home where she was loved by her mum, stepdad Freddie Wright, 49, sisters Sherrie, 23, and Cloe, 16, and 29-yearold brother Marc.

Tracey added: "On the morning she died Jay said goodbye to Sherrie as she was going on holiday to America. Her partner Brian Veitch is proposing to her when they are out there. It was a surprise.

"I want her to enjoy herself and enjoy the moment of being asked to get married. It will break her heart when she is told."

Jay, who was an ambassador for Beat, an organisation that helps those suffering from eating disorders, had wanted to become a nurse and care for others. Five years ago she enrolled with Northumbria University and completed her first year but became too ill to carry on.

Tracey said: "Jay will guide me through dark days. She's at peace and not facing her demons."

ANOREXIA FACTS: Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder and mental health condition that can be lifethreatening.

People with anorexia try to keep their weight as low as possible, usually by restricting the amount of food they eat. They often have a distorted image of themselves, thinking that they're fat when they're not.

Some people with the condition also exercise excessively, and some eat a lot of food in a short space of time (binge eating) and then make themselves sick or use laxatives (purging).

People affected by anorexia often go to great attempts to hide their behaviour from family and friends by lying about eating and what they have eaten, or by pretending to have eaten earlier.

As with other eating disorders, anorexia can be associated with depression, low selfesteem, alcohol misuse and self-harm.

Treating anorexia If you have an eating disorder such as anorexia, the first step is to recognise you have a problem and visit your GP for a medical check up and advice on treatment.

One of the biggest challenges in treating anorexia is getting people with the condition to accept their behaviour is not normal.

The first step towards getting better is to recognise the problem and to have a genuine desire to get well.

A combination of psychological treatments and advice on eating and nutrition usually helps to treat anorexia. More serious cases are treated in hospital or a specialist eating disorder clinic.

Above Jay with sisters Sherrie (left) and Chloe (right), left Jay aged 18 with Chloe and mum Tracey and The Chronicle front first reporting her story. Below when Jay weighed 5 1/2 stone
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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Aug 31, 2013
Words:1016
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