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Ashlee Thomas is on a mission to help others escape the grips of anorexia after her own near-death experience


WARNING: Some readers may find the following content distressing

At 14, Ashlee Thomas was in the grips of anorexia.

She weighed 39kg.

She was hospitalised. Her heart stopped twice.

Doctors thought she would not survive.

At 14, Ashlee Thomas was in the grips of anorexia. She weighed 39kg. She was hospitalised. 
At 14, Ashlee Thomas was in the grips of anorexia. She weighed 39kg. She was hospitalised.  Credit: Instagram / @ashlee.thomas

But she did.

And now the young NSW woman is dedicating her life to helping other girls.

Her first warning to parents and children is about the dangers of Instagram, where, Thomas says, her journey to a near death began.

On the app Thomas started following “clean eating” influencers.

She was an athlete looking to have the most fit body she could create.

And the bodies she considered ideal streamed down her timeline every single day, with every “like” and comment enticing her to emulate the types of bodies she saw.

“I just wanted to be liked and loved like they were,” said Thomas, now 20.

“I wanted to get a taste of that.”

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‘I just wanted to be liked and loved like they were.’

But the opposite happened. She began to hate herself.

One commenter reacted to photos Thomas posted of herself by writing that her stomach was fat.

At some point she stopped eating. She said her parents tried everything to get her to eat. Child welfare authorities were called on them as they resorted to force feeding her.

“It got to the stage where I remember sitting down and my dad holding my jaw open and my mum syringing food into my mouth because I just refused to eat,” Thomas recalled.



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