‘Long, tiring battle’ continues for Sidford family

Sophie Hartwell

Sophie Hartwell - Credit: Archant

Appeal to get Sophie the ‘life-saving’ treatment she needs

Parents desperately seeking life-saving treatment for their daughter say they will not give up fighting their ‘constant battle’ against her debilitating disease.

Sophie Hartwell, 23, of Trow Hill, developed anorexia nervosa and depression six years ago and has now been told her condition has worsened to such an extent there is nowhere in the UK that can treat her.

Her parents, Diane and Stephen, launched an appeal in the Herald last month asking for help in raising more than £100,000 needed for Sophie to undergo intensive treatment at a specialist clinic in the United States.

This week, Diane said: “Every day is difficult and it is a long, tiring, ongoing battle.

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“We are just very thankful of the support that we are getting. Anything that will get Sophie that step closer to the treatment in the USA, we are very grateful of.

“It would mean such a lot for the whole family as it is not easy seeing a loved-one ill and enduring such a constant, exhausting mental battle. It is just as much an illness as a physical one.”

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Sophie went from a healthy weight to an emaciated state within five months at the age of 18 and was hospitalised, but the family say she was discharged when she most needed help.

Diane emphasised that Sophie has been different weights throughout her illness, but that even at the lowest, her condition was not as bad or complex as it has now become.

She said the illness is not always visible and you do not have to be permanently emaciated or skeletal to be suffering from anorexia or any other eating disorder.

The family is planning fundraising events this summer to boost their appeal so Sophie can ‘begin her life’. Raffle prize donations would be very gratefully received, as well as monetary contributions.

To read more about Sophie’s story or to donate, visit: https://www.gofundme.com/9zvev68s.

Alternatively, cheques can be made payable to ‘The Sophie Hartwell Trust’ and sent to Trow Lodge, Trow Hill, Sidford, Sidmouth, EX10 OPW. Call the Herald on 01392 888504 to pass on support.

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