Nikki Grahame’s mother on her ‘hellish’ lockdown battle with anorexia

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    Sue Grahame has said that lockdown, which was implemented for the first time in the UK one year ago, had been “hellish” and had “floored” her daughter.

    Nikki, who was a contestant on the seventh series of Big Brother UK in 2006, has battled anorexia since childhood, spending much of her younger years in and out of hospital due to the condition.

    She has written two books Dying To Be Thin in 2009 and Fragile in 2012 about her experiences.

    Speaking to the Daily Telegraph, her mother Sue, 66, said her daughter’s condition has got so bad she checked herself into a specialist facility for life-saving care earlier this week.

    Two of Nikki’s friends have set up a GoFundMe page to help raise money for the treatment she needs – with the total now at £67,000.

    Mrs Grahame said: “This last year has just about floored her… From the first lockdown, it was hellish. She struggled because she couldn’t go to the gym.

    “Then in December she fell down and cracked her pelvis in two places and broke her wrist. I stayed with her for three or four weeks because she couldn’t do anything.”

    Mrs Grahame continued: “We’ve been on this road a long time, 30 years on and off, and I’ve never seen her this bad. I’m frightened that I’ll die and she’ll have no one to support her. I don’t want her to go through any of this alone.”

    Mrs Grahame said she believed her daughter’s anorexia started aged seven after another child commented on the size of her bottom in a gymnastics class.

    When she turned eight, the star weighed just under 3st.

    “She was a tiny little thing,” Mrs Grahame said. “I was so desperate I can remember actually scooping food with my hand and trying to force it into her mouth.”

    Throughout her life Nikki would follow a pattern of refusing food, hiding her frame in baggy clothes, being hospitalised and then relying on a nasogastric tube to help her gain weight, Mrs Grahame said.

    Nikki has previously been sectioned due to several suicide attempts.

    Once her fame from Big Brother and other reality shows slipped away Nikki’s illness worsened again.

    “When you’re up there and you’re having a great time, working your socks off, it’s marvellous. But then it can stop. And Nikki said she did feel quite lost when it stopped,” Mrs Grahame said.

    Nikki had been “trying to further herself” before the pandemic began – and had taken courses in English and Science after missing some of her education due to her condition.

    She had also completed a course of caring for children with special needs before lockdown began.

    Mrs Grahame said she hoped this new round of treatment would help her daughter.

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