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*Warning: This article contains images some people might find distressing*.
Big Brother star Nikki Grahame's mum appeared on This Morning today and spoke of her daughter's struggle with anorexia over lockdown, admitting that her health had been "spiralling" and had now reached a desperate point.
Nikki, who appeared on season seven of Big Brother in 2006, has battled with anorexia since she was as young as eight years old, and spent much of her childhood in hospital with the illness.
Speaking on the ITV show, her mum, Sue, said that she didn't notice the signs - such as Nikki skipping lunch - at first, as she was so good at hiding it.
She explained the reality star's relapse over lockdown was in part as a result of loneliness.
Check out a clip below:
"Last year really put the cap on [her eating disorder, but] when the gyms closed it was quite a worry," Sue said.
"The isolation... it's been really hard for her, really hard. She felt very cut off and spending too much time on her own with not enough to think about other than food and, that took a grip as well."
Nikki is now receiving specialist treatment after a GoFundMe page, set up by friends, surpassed its target and raised £68,109 (at the time of writing) to get her the private help she needs.
"I spoke to Nikki this morning and she said, 'Mum, please stress how overwhelmed I am at people's kindness towards me'," the star's mum added.
"'[She said] I just don't get it, but I am so grateful,' and she said, 'Also tell everybody that I'm going to try my level best this time to beat this. I want to get my life back'."
Issuing a warning to other mothers or loved ones of those with anorexia, she went on: "I would say that if you do see the signs, if they become very withdrawn for no apparent reason, if they start to wear baggy clothes and obviously if they start to loose weight - Nikki was ditching her lunch every day, I had no idea - try and get help as soon as possible.
"I think, poor Nikki, she suffered so bad because back in the day - going back 31 years - I guess at that time, people found it hard to believe that an eight year old could be a victim of this.
"So there weren't the kind of units, there wasn't the kind of treatment there is now."
Reacting to Nikki's mum's appearance on the show fans of the Big Brother star said they had been really moved to hear what she had been through.
"Hearing Nikki Graham mum has bought tears to my eyes. As a mum my daughter at 14 had anorexia and I can relate to what she was saying. I must say nhs CAMHS have been fab but now she is 18 she will now go under adult which scares me," one wrote.
While another penned: "What an amazing mum Sue is to Nikki Grahame. Listening to her love & support for her daughter is so emotional, but uplifting too @ThisMorning".
The public has been rallied around Nikki ever since a GoFundMe was set up by Nikki's friends, in a desperate bid to raise money for her to seek professional treatment. It was shared by many former Big Brother stars as well as presenter Rylan Clark-Neal, in a bid to rally support.
The page features distressing images of the reality star now, looking painfully thin after starving herself over lockdown.
Nikki's condition is the worst it has ever been, according to her loved ones, who wrote that she now desperately needs the specialist care as a "last hope".
"She has been battling [anorexia] for most of her life and as you can see, Nikki is now in a very bad way so we need to do something quickly," her friends wrote on the GoFundMe page.
"Over the past years Nikki's family and friends have tried so desperately to get Nikki all the help possible through the NHS but unfortunately the treatments have failed and we have exhausted every avenue possible, and now Nik is unfortunately in a very bad way, this is now our last hope."
The donation page added that the hope is the clinic will help "kick this illness to the curb once and for all".
"At the moment, Nikki constantly feels weak and is struggling on a day to day basis.
"She feels trapped and really wants to get better but feels like it's impossible. It's heart-breaking and we desperately just want a healthy and well Nikki back with us," the page description went on.
"She has no energy and is taking each day as it comes. Mental health, as so many of you know, is debilitating in many ways. We want to help save our friend from letting this Illness beat her. If you are able to donate anything then we would be extremely grateful."
You can donate to support Nikki here.
If you, or anyone you know, has been affected by an eating disorder, you can find help and support at eating disorder charity, Beat.
Featured Image Credit: Instagram/ Nikki Grahame
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