Meet 37-year-old Rachael Farrokh. You may have never heard of her but she is an actress who came back from the brink of death after winning her battle with anorexia. Rachael made news when a video of her describing her decade-long battle with anorexia was shared online.
According to Daily Mail, viewers raised nearly $200,000 for Farrokh to help her pay for life-saving treatment. Farrokh’s battle with anorexia became so severe at one point that she was bedridden and almost unable to speak because she was so emaciated.
Six months after nearly dying from the disease, Farrokh has made a shocking transformation, gaining back most of the weight she lost. Now, the actress has become an activist whose mission it is to help others overcome the disease.
“I have a huge family and it is called the entire world,” Farrokh said.
The actress and her husband, Rod Edmondson, joined hundreds in Washington D.C. for the March Against Eating Disorders. Edmondson quit his job when Farrokh was at her worst condition to care for her.
Farrokh explained that when she was in her worst health, certain treatments failed:
“My body wasn’t responding to any of the treatment because they didn’t understand that the brain had to come along with the body.”
The anorexia survivor sought treatment at a number of facilities, first in Colorado, then in California, before finally going to a clinic in Portugal. She says that she realized one important thing about why she was initially unable to recover.
“I was finally treated with respect, and I didn’t know that I deserved it,” she said.
While Farrokh is still frail and struggles to stand on her own, she has made a massive improvement in her health and is continuing her recovery. She shared a post on her Facebook page, in which she praised the clinic in Portugal where she was treated.
“Their methodology of love and support to make the patient feel safe is something I had never been exposed to,” she wrote in the post. “It had only been the reward/punishment methods in all my past experiences with treatment. I have discovered safety and the feeling of security is essential for my recovery.”
In a video shared online early in her recovery, Rachael can be seen using a machine to help her stand up. Prior to that moment, she had been unable to stand at all.
Edmondson shared the footage on Facebook and wrote:
“Even though she has been working daily through a lot of pain, she has kept her promise and is fighting hard. We thank you for your encouraging words.”